What: The wild week of LINN Energy LLC (NASDAQOTH:LINEQ) continues on Tuesday. After getting pounded down 17% at one point on Monday, units are up nearly as much Tuesday. Heading into afternoon trading LINN Energy was up more than 15%, while shares of its affiliate LinnCo LLC (UNKNOWN:LNCO.DL) were up by 11%.
Some of Tuesday's surge had to do with the relative calm in the oil market as oil prices are only marginally lower at the moment. However, the big driver here is the fact that LINN closed the $1.95 billion sale of its Granite Wash properties after markets closed on Monday. The market was growing worried that the deal would be nixed amid the slump in oil prices.
So What: Closing that sale brought in a lot of cash that LINN Energy now plans to use to cut its debt. Those proceeds will enable LINN to slice 16% off its rather large debt load. That will bring its total outstanding debt from $11.9 billion to around $10 billion. More than anything, closing the sale is a sigh of relief as the company now has a bit more breathing room than it would have if the sale fell through.
The other thing LINN Energy is doing that has investors cheering is holding off on announcing its 2015 spending plan until it sees more clarity on oil prices. Investors see this as a sign that the company is exploring all options in order to maintain as much flexibility as it can during these unsettling times.
Now What: LINN Energy investors can rest a little easier knowing that the sale of the Granite Wash won't fall through and that the company's worrisome debt levels are less of a worry. While that doesn't mean that the sell-off in LINN Energy is over, it will at least give sellers one less reason to exit.
Matt DiLallo owns shares of Linn Co, LLC and Linn Energy, LLC. Matt DiLallo has the following options: short January 2015 $20 puts on Linn Co, LLC. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.