The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, April 7, that Exxon Mobil (XOM) has held talks with Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) about a possible acquisition.
The Journal reported that Exxon also has discussed a potential acquisition with at least one other company as the company looks for a big deal to expand its presence in U.S. oil shale.
The Journal characterized the talks as informal and exploratory. Only two weeks ago Pioneer was subject to rumors that had the company making an acquisition of another producer.
On Friday, Shares of Pioneer Natural Resources were down 1.06% in the short Good Friday/Easter session. Shares of ExxonMobil were off 1.66%. Today, shares of Pioneer Natural Resources are up 6.00% as of 1:45 p.m. New York time.
U.S. oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate rose a scant 0.11% to $80.70 for May delivery.
It’s not clear to me how enthusiastic current Pioneer shareholders would be about such an acquisition. Many of them own the shares because of the company’s generous variable rate dividend policy and might worry that Exxon’s dividend wouldn’t match that payout.
The projected forward yield on shares of Pioneer was 13.09% on Friday. The projected forward yield on shares of Exxon was 3.11%