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Author: TMFRichDad Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 667  
Subject: Re: COP to reduce LUK stake from 20% to 10% Date: 5/1/2010 6:18 AM
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Hi Mike,

COP actually announced their plans for divestures in late March:

http://www.conocophillips.com/EN/newsroom/news_releases/2010...


Asset Disposition
As announced in 2009, ConocoPhillips intends to sell $10 billion of assets over two years. Approximately half of the assets will be sold in 2010 with the remainder in 2011, and a portion of the proceeds will be used to reduce debt to targeted levels. Potential 2010 dispositions include the company’s ownership interest in Syncrude and the Rex Pipeline, 10 percent of its Lower 48 and Western Canada portfolio and its remaining U.S. marketing assets. It is expected that 60 to 80 percent of the proceeds generated will come from the Exploration and Production (E&P) segment, with an impact by the end of 2011 of approximately 80 MBOED to 120 MBOED on production and approximately 400 MMBOED to 600 MMBOED on reserves. In aggregate, these sales are expected to create financial gains.

Shareholder Distributions Increase
Significant cash flow is expected to be generated from operating activities, the sale of 10 percent of LUKOIL, and asset sales over the next two years. After funding its capital program and dividends, the company expects to use a portion of the remaining free cash flow to fund a 10 percent increase in dividends, continuing the practice of annual dividend increases since the formation of ConocoPhillips eight years ago. Lastly, additional distributions to shareholders will come through a $5 billion share repurchase program announced at the meeting.

Returns Enhancement
Over the next several years, ConocoPhillips plans to significantly increase its Return on Capital Employed (ROCE). This ROCE improvement will be assisted by a recovery in natural gas prices and refining margins in North America and driven by continuous improvement in operating efficiencies, constrained capital expenditures, reduced operating costs, and a shift in the company’s portfolio to 85 percent E&P over time.

Production and Reserves Growth
While the sale of E&P producing assets and the reduction in capital expenditures will produce higher ROCE, it will also have a negative impact on BOE production growth over the next few years. In spite of this, ConocoPhillips plans to deliver per share production growth of 3 percent in 2010 and 2011 and 3 percent to 5 percent in subsequent years. Longer term, underlying production is expected to grow 2 percent to 3 percent, as the company converts 10 billion BOE of resources to reserves at competitive finding and development costs.


I just happened to add to my stake in COP about that time and the stock has moved from $50ish to $59 on Friday. So, as you surmised the market likes the strategy shift COP is taking.

I've long felt it was the Lukoil investment that resulted in COP trading at a discount to other majors, at least in part. Exiting Russia would go a long way in reducing COP's risk profile. So, like the market, I applaud the move too.

Rich
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