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February 19, 2013
10:27 EDTLINELINN Energy responds to short seller allegations regarding hedging
LINN Energy (LINE) disclosed in a regulatory filing after the close Friday that the company was providing information about its hedging strategy and rationale in response to "inaccurate statements" made by "an anonymous short seller" The company's CEO, Mark Ellis, stated, “Since our IPO, hedging our oil and natural gas production has always been an important strategy for the company and our investors. Our hedge strategy has served LINN and our investors well through a variety of commodity price cycles. Hedging will continue to be an integral part of LINN’s strategy.” The company also stated that in evaluating the issue it has identified other publicly traded partnerships that purchase derivatives and "all of these companies account for derivatives the same way LINN does," adding that the company "has yet to identify any publicly traded partnerships that account for it differently." In addition to the short seller report that LINN responded to, Barron's stated in an article this weekend that the company's shares could be over-valued. In a note to investors this morning, Wells Fargo analyst Praneeth Satish said that the short-seller and Barron's reports overstate the impact of LINN's treatment of its derivative contracts on the company's financials. Satish added that the issue is not new, having been brought up previously as far back as 2010, and reiterated the firm's Outperform rating on the stock. In morning trading, LINN Energy shares fell 2.4% to $35.07.
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