Reflecting on EnCana's natural gas grab in Texas on Monday, Desjardins figures the acquisition of energy assets outside of Alberta "could be a trend going forward," given the strong loonie and royalty changes coming to Alberta. Analyst Adam Zive suggests Canadian Natural Resources could be on the acquisition trail after announcing plans to reduce its natural gas drilling program by 30-to-50 per cent in 2008 and beyond, because of the royalty changes. Other names that could be hunting big game include Talisman, Husky Energy, Petro-Canada and Suncor Energy, he points out. EnCana closed Monday at a premium to Canadian explorers and producers, and integrated oil companies, based on multiples of price/cash flow and enterprise value-to-earnings before interest, depreciation, amortization and exploration expenses (EBIDAX), Mr. Zive notes. He prefers owning Nexen or Talisman because they have "significant upside to net asset value and have material conventional reinvestment opportunities."
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