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Oil Find Drives Anadarko Shares to 52-Week High

Anadarko Petroleum'sstock hit a new high for the year on Thursday following news that it made a deepwater discovery offshore Sierra Leone and analysts raised their price targets for the exploration and production company.

The discovery at their Venus B-1 well confirms the existence of an active petroleum system in the basin and lifts expectations for the company's vast West Africa acreage position.

UBS analyst William Featherston said this discovery raises hopes for further oil finds in the 700 miles between the company's earlier Jubilee discovery in Ghana in the east and Sierra Leone to the west.

Anadarko has identified more than 30 prospects in its 10 block offshore West African position. Featherston said the discovery increases the chance of success in these properties to 35 percent, up from a typical 25 percent.

Featherston boosted his price target for Anadarko to $75, up from $68. That price target implies upside of 15.7 percent from its closing price Wednesday of $64.85. He rates the stock "Buy."

Deutsche Bank also raised its price target for Anadarko to $58 from $49.

Shares closed slightly lower at $64.70 Thursday, having earlier advanced to a new 52-week high of $66.21.