Merrill Cuts Andarko Petroleum to 'Near-Term Buy'

The company reinstated its quarterly earnings due to an incorrect accounting charge

Merrill Lynch downgraded Anadarko Petroleum (APC ) to near-term and long-term buy from strong buy.

Analyst John Herrlin says the charge is a result of incorrect accounting for Union Pacific Resources acquisition. He says in an era of Texas related, energy company accounting faux pas, he does not expect the market to react to the news in a positive manner, especially since Andarko bought Union Pacific some 18 months ago. Herrlin says in his view, it's just an awfully large mistake, but the market may not be that forgiving, even though it had little negative reaction when smaller charge was announced in the third quarter. But things are different now.

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