Canadian oil and gas producer Vermilion Energy Inc (VET) has announced that Anthony Marino has resigned as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a director of the company, effective immediately.
Shares in Vermilion have plunged 69% since the beginning of the year.
During his eight years at VET, Marino made various improvements to the cost structure and associated capital efficiencies, the company stated.
Instead of filling the role of chief executive, Vermilion has now re-established an Executive Committee made up of five senior executives from within the company.
VET also announced that co-founder Lorenzo Donadeo will now take on the role of Executive Chairman, while Curtis Hicks is rejoining the company and has been appointed President. Hicks was Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Vermilion from 2003 to 2018.
“In these challenging times, Vermilion will redouble its focus on its core business principles that have served it well over its successful 26-year history. These principles are based on a conservative, long-term focus on balance sheet strength and capital discipline to generate strong returns” commented Lorenzo Donadeo, noting that Vermilion has provided shareholders with $40.20 per share of dividends over the last 17 years.
Analysts are staying sidelined on VET’s prospects right now, with 11 recent hold ratings vs just 1 buy rating. Most worryingly, the average analyst price target suggests that shares will remain at these depressed levels for the coming months. (See Vermilion stock analysis on TipRanks)
“We credit Vermilion with having pulled some big levers of late— cutting its dividend twice in March, then suspending it altogether in April in response to the collapse in oil prices. Along with reduced capital, these measures should reinforce the company’s sustainability as 2020 unfolds” comments RBC Capital analyst Greg Pardy.
Despite appreciating Vermilion’s ‘good start in rough conditions’, Pardy maintains a hold rating and a one-year price target of $6 per share.
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