EXCO’s Day of Reckoning with Bankers: Feb 1

EXCO Resources was once a sizable player in the Marcellus. They still have 145,000 net acres in the Marcellus, with 124 horizontal Marcellus wells drilled and in production. However, EXCO, as we pointed out last March, has pretty much abandoned the Marcellus at this point (see EXCO: No Marcellus Drilling in 2015/2016, NYSE Threatens Delisting). The company has flirted with bankruptcy for some time. They were able to slow the bleeding in 2Q16 (see EXCO Still Hammering Midstreamers re Contracts, Bleeding Slowed). In 3Q16 EXCO finally turned a profit, going from losing $355 million in 3Q15 to making $51 million in 3Q16 (see EXCO 3Q16: Turns a Profit! Marcellus Production Continues to Fall). That is an astonishing turnaround for a company razor close to bankruptcy. However, they aren’t out of the woods yet. Last fall EXCO was due to have borrowing base redetermination. A company’s borrowing base is the value of its assets–in this case the value of the leases and oil/gas wells EXCO owns. Those assets are used as collateral to back up loans and IOUs. If the bankers extending credit determine a company’s assets are no longer sufficient to cover their loans, the bankers may force that company into bankruptcy as a way to protect the bank’s investment. EXCO pushed off the asset checkup to November. Then in December, the company got a reprieve, pushing the overdue checkup from Nov. 1, 2016 to Feb. 1, 2017. It now appears time is up and the redetermination will happen on Feb. 1. What will the banks find?…

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