SandRidge Energy Receives Subpoena In Antitrust Probe

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SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:SD) acknowledged last week in a conference call that it had been served a subpoena by the Department of Justice in connection with an anti-trust investigation.

“We don’t think so. It’s early in the process. We don’t have any more information at all about the fact of the investigation other than what we’ve put in the 10-K,” said James Bennett, President and CEO, in response to a question from JPMorgan analyst Joe Allman on whether investors should be concerned about a subpoena.

SEC filing admits subpoena received

“On December 18, 2013, the Company received a subpoena duces tecum from the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with an ongoing investigation of possible violations of antitrust laws in connection with the purchase or lease of land, oil or natural gas rights.  The Company is cooperating with the investigation,” the company said in a filing last week.

Probe may involve previous management

According to Global Hunter Securities analyst Curtis Trimble, who was quoted in Bloomberg, the subpoena possibly relates to activities of former management rather than current operations.

It may be recalled that SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:SD) settled a proxy battle with activist hedge fund TPG-Axon Capital LP in May last year by agreeing to fire its CEO Tom Ward. Ward was replaced by CFO James Bennett as the new CEO and president. The company dismissed Ward after an investigation into related party transactions entered with Ward relatives.

Sandridge delivers a Q4 beat

Last Thursday, the company reported Q4 EPS of $0.03 and revenue of $465.1M that beat estimates by $0.03 and $11.72 respectively.

In January the company sold off its Gulf of Mexico offshore drilling assets for $750M to Fieldwood Energy LLC.

Sandridge one of Cooperman’s favorite stocks

Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman, the chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors LLC, owns 41,532,663 shares of SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:SD) amounting to an 8.5% stake.

In November 2013, Cooperman said it was one of his five favorite stocks, observing that activist action by TPG-Axon had succeeded in installing a capable management team at the company’s helm that was already delivering improved performance.

SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:SD) last traded at $6.45 on Friday, up 1.9%.

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