Paulson Says Whiting Petroleum Divestiture May Send Stock Higher

Billionaire hedge-fund investor John Paulson said Whiting Petroleum Corp. (WLL) shares may rise if the oil and natural gas company sells non-core assets.

“We anticipate Whiting will continue to rationalize its corporate structure with additional divestitures,” Paulson & Co. wrote in a first-quarter letter, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

Last year, Whiting sold the Postle field for $810 million and acreage in Texas for $152 million, Paulson wrote. A streamlined Whiting “should command a higher multiple and result in a higher stock price,” the firm said. Whiting shares have risen 15 percent this year to $71.40.

Armel Leslie, a spokesman for $22.8 billion New York-based Paulson & Co. with WalekPeppercomm, declined to comment on the letter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kelly Bit in New York at kbit@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at ppaulden@bloomberg.net

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