What Makes the New Devon Energy Better for Investors?

Photo credit: Devon Energy

Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN  ) has been busy over the past month. In the span of just 30 days, the company bolstered both its midstream business and its oil assets. The first deal saw Devon joining forces with Crosstex Energy (NYSE: ENLC  ) and Crosstex Energy L.P. (NYSE: ENLK  ) to create a new multi-billion dollar midstream business. The latest deal finds the company spending billions to buy up some prime leasehold acreage in the Eagle Ford Shale. So, that of course begs the question of whether or not this new Devon Energy is a better company for its investors.

Devon Energy is no stranger to dealing assets. It spent the past several years shedding its international assets in an effort to focus on growing production in North America. It's also not done dealing as the company has stated that it plans to harvest a few more of its noncore assets including its Canadian conventional assets and a few of its noncore U.S. assets. What investors will be left with is a very intriguing oil-and-gas company. Let's take a closer look.

Rich in oil growth
With the addition of the Eagle Ford, Devon Energy has become quite the oil growth story. In adding the Eagle Ford to its core positions in the Permian Basin and Canada's oil sands, Devon has the fuel to grow its oil production by 20% annually for many years to come. That puts it right up there with EOG Resources (NYSE: EOG  ) as a top-tier oil-growth company.

Devon's latest deal also transforms the company into the second largest North American onshore-oil producer just behind EOG Resources. Oil is an important place to be as it has enabled EOG Resources to turn drilling rigs into money-printing presses. So, for Devon to be in the position to grow its oil production by 20% annually, especially given its size, that's a pretty big deal.

Flowing with cash
The Eagle Ford deal has turned Devon into a top-tier oil-growth story, and along with its midstream transaction the company is transforming into a real cash-flow machine. Devon's new Eagle Ford assets not only offer self-funded growth initially, but starting in 2015 the assets will throw off about $800 million in free cash flow. That number is expected to grow over time and by 2017 it should have thrown off more than $2.5 billion in cash.

Devon's oil-rich cash flows will be more than sufficient to enable the company to live within its cash-flow means. That's something that not all of its peers can boast of being able to do. Add to that Devon's ability to selectively monetize some of its midstream assets that aren't immediately going into the new Crosstex MLP combination and we see a company with tremendous financial flexibility in an industry that is more known for having little financial breathing room.

Investor takeaway
Devon has really transformed itself from a solid North American onshore energy company to a very intriguing oil-growth story. That oil growth comes with a lot of cash flow that the company can use to create additional value for investors. The new Devon is really well positioned to capture its share of North America's energy boom.

Does that make Devon the best way to profit from the boom?

Record oil and natural gas production is revolutionizing the United States' energy position. While Devon is well positioned to profit from this boom, it's not one of our top three energy stocks. Instead, EOG Resources takes one of our top spots. For more on EOG Resources, and our other two top stocks check out the special free report, "3 Stocks for the American Energy Bonanza." Don't miss out on this timely opportunity; click here to access your report -- it's absolutely free. 



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