Re: San Antonio Business Journal this afternoon
By Jessica Corso – Reporter, San Antonio Business Journal
October 15, 2019
San Antonio-based Abraxas Petroleum Corp. has hired a financial adviser to pursue all options — including selling itself — for raising its below-compliance stock price, the oil company announced Tuesday.
Denver-based Petrie Partners LLC assisted Abraxas this year with the $15.5 million sale of some of its assets in North Dakota's Bakken Shale. On Tuesday, the drilling company told investors that Petrie is also helping secure the sale of its remaining assets in the Bakken and that its board had approved a more extensive mandate for the advisory company.
Petrie has been given leeway to review the company's business strategy to find any ways for Abraxas (Nasdaq: AXAS) to enhance shareholder value. Those alternative strategies could include additional asset sales, a merger or acquisition, and any "additional financing alternatives," Abraxas said in a statement.
“Petrie has been a great partner for Abraxas in the past,” Abraxas CEO Bob Watson said in the statement. “No firm knows the energy industry community better than Petrie, and we look forward to working with them on a broader basis in furtherance of shareholder interests.”
Abraxas was warned in August that it had six months to get its 30-day stock price to $1 per share or it will be delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market. In spite of an announcement two weeks ago that it had secured the sale of the remainder of its South Texas assets, as well as some acreage in West Texas, Abraxas' closing share price hasn't reached $1 since July 15. The stock price was 38 cents per share at 11 a.m. Central time Tuesday, having closed at 37 cents on Monday.
Abraxas Chief Financial Officer Steve Harris attributed the company's struggles to a generally poor market for small oil and gas companies. In September, Texas oil and gas companies told the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas that they were seeing layoffs as production fell due to low prices, slowing global demand and less access to capital.
By the end of 2018, there were 100 people working full time with Abraxas, in addition to field consultants it sometimes employs, according to the company's last annual earnings report."