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Devon Energy Sees Higher Oil Production, Lower Debt

Tickers in this article: DVN LINE
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of oil and gas producer Devon Energy may be worth a second look because of the company's plans to increase oil production and its lower debt.

The company plans to increase its oil production from its assets in the Eagle Ford shale formation and in Permian Basin, which are both in Texas.

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Devon Energy completed its purchase of 82,000 acres in Eagle Ford in February. Devon projects its production from Eagle Ford will increase from 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the second quarter to 100,000 boe per day next year.

It produced 95,000 boe per day in the Permian Basin in the second quarter, a level that is expected to slowly rise in coming quarters.

The company reduced its debt by $3.2 billion in the second quarter by selling non-core assets and with cash on hand and free cash flow. Its pending $2.3 billion sale of non-core assets (mostly natural gas) that span across six U.S. states to Linn Energy will reduce debt further.

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Shares of Devon trade at 18.4 times this year's estimated earnings, compared with a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 19.2 for Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

The stock, which closed at $74.70 on Monday, is up 21% this year, compared with the S&P 500's 8% gain.

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At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

TheStreet Ratings team rates DEVON ENERGY CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate DEVON ENERGY CORP (DVN) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."