Cramer: Anadarko's brilliant oil patch moves created a cash generator

Jim Cramer expects the price of oil to stay in the $40s for a while, but he still sees plenty of opportunities in the oil patch. He called Anadarko Petroleum's recent move one of the best he has ever seen.

Last week, Anadarko announced it would acquire Freeport-McMoRan's deep water oil assets in the Gulf of Mexico for $2 billion.

"You better believe that deal caught my attention. I think this is a brilliant move by Anadarko that is going to pay off big time, especially because Freeport really desperately needed to sell those assets," the "Mad Money" host said.

Cramer has been watching the high-quality exploration and production companies that issue stock to buy lucrative oil and gas assets. Oil companies like PDC Energy, SM Energy and Pioneer Natural Resources have all made opportunistic moves to buy acreage and turn a profit drilling, and Cramer thinks it is a fantastic strategy.





Crews work at Anadarko's centralized fracking facility and drill site near Fort Lupton, Colorado.
RJ Sangosti | The Denver Post | Getty Images
Crews work at Anadarko's centralized fracking facility and drill site near Fort Lupton, Colorado.
"Anadarko's purchase of Freeport McMoRan's deep water Gulf of Mexico assets last week is one of the best I have ever seen." -Jim Cramer

Freeport-McMoRan used to be a copper and gold miner, and back when oil prices were much higher in 2012, it purchased Plains Exploration and McMoRan Oil and Gas for $19 billion. However, when oil collapsed in 2014, Freeport was exposed to three of the worst commodities out there, and its stock was crushed.

Meanwhile, Anadarko is a well-run exploration and production company with a stock up more than 18 percent this year.

Cramer loved this deal for three reasons. First, the purchase doubles Anadarko's ownership in the Lucius development, to 49 percent from roughly 23.8 percent. The newly acquired assets could boost Anadarko's production by 80,000 barrels of oil per day in the area. Cramer estimated that Anadarko could turn a profit even if the price of crude drops to the low $30s.

Anadarko's management also believes that the acquisition could generate $3 billion in additional free cash flow, which is huge, considering it only paid $2 billion for the assets.

Anadarko financed the transaction by issuing a secondary offering, and sold more than 35 million shares of stock at $54.50. What was even more astounding to Cramer is that Anadarko traded at $57.79 before the transaction, and it closed at $57.53 on Monday. It's like investors are getting the Freeport assets for next to nothing.

"Anadarko shelled out $2 billion for a very attractive asset that is going to become a huge cash generator after they spend little money developing it," Cramer said.

Ultimately, Cramer considers the transaction a big positive for Anadarko, and he thinks the stock deserves to go higher in the long term, even if oil stalls out at its current levels.

"Anadarko's purchase of Freeport McMoRan's deep water Gulf of Mexico assets last week is one of the best I have ever seen," Cramer said.

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