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BHP GROUP

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BHP : Woodside shares fall on speculation it is eyeing BHP petroleum assets

07/21/2021 | 03:57am EDT
FILE PHOTO: The logo for Woodside Petroleum, Australia's top independent oil and gas company, adorns a promotional poster on display at a briefing for investors in Sydney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Shares in Woodside Petroleum fell on Wednesday after an unsourced media report said Australia's top independent gas producer was in talks to buy some or all of BHP Group's oil and gas assets, analysts and an investor said.

Woodside shares ended down 2 cents in a broader market that rose 0.8% and while BHP rose 1.3%.

The report in The Australian's Data Room column followed a Bloomberg report which said that mining group BHP was considering selling its oil and gas business, which includes assets off Australia and Trinidad and Tobago and in the Gulf of Mexico.

BHP and Woodside declined to comment on what both companies called "market speculation".

"We remain focused on the continued safe execution of our Sangomar project in Senegal and achieving our targeted final investment decision on the Scarborough and Pluto Train 2 developments in Western Australia," a Woodside spokesperson said in an emailed comment.

The fall in Woodside's shares highlighted investors' fears that Woodside would need to sell new shares to buy some or all of BHP's oil and gas assets, valued at around $10 billion to $15 billion, which would come on top of spending on its Australian and Senegal projects, analysts and an investor said.

"That's unpalatable," said Simon Mawhinney, Chief Investment Officer at Allan Gray Australia, a Woodside shareholder.

He said it would be disappointing if Woodside were to buy any or all of BHP's petroleum assets "unless BHP were to gift them."Credit Suisse analyst Saul Kavonic said there would only be a limited pool of buyers for BHP's Australian assets, partly because they include ageing assets which face hefty decommissioning costs within the next 10 years.

He also said Woodside would be a "lead candidate" to buy BHP's Australian petroleum assets as Woodside already has stakes in two of them - the North West Shelf LNG project and the Scarborough gas field.

BHP Chief Executive Mike Henry said as recently as March that BHP sees "attractive value and returns to be generated for shareholders for the next decade" from oil and gas, but would sell off more mature assets.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul. Editing by Jane Merriman)

By Sonali Paul


ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BHP GROUP 0.30% 53.49 End-of-day quote.26.07%
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LTD -0.81% 21.91 End-of-day quote.-3.65%
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Sales 2021 58 967 M - -
Net income 2021 15 572 M - -
Net Debt 2021 6 990 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 12,5x
Yield 2021 7,36%
Capitalization 116 B 116 B -
EV / Sales 2021 2,08x
EV / Sales 2022 1,95x
Nbr of Employees 31 589
Free-Float 58,2%
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Technical analysis trends BHP GROUP
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TrendsBullishBullishBullish
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 16
Last Close Price 39,28 $
Average target price 38,41 $
Spread / Average Target -2,20%
EPS Revisions
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Mike Henry CEO, CFO & Non-Independent Executive Director
John Kenneth Norman MacKenzie Chairman
Rag Udd CTO & VP-Technology Global Transformation
Malcolm William Broomhead Independent Non-Executive Director
Anita Margaret Frew Independent Non-Executive Director
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