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Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (AXAS) is “One to Watch”

Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (NASDAQ: AXAS), an independent natural gas and crude oil exploitation and production company based in San Antonio, Texas, was founded in 1977 by current CEO Robert L.G. Watson who took the company public in 1991. The company’s business strategy is focused on increasing shareholder value while maintaining financial flexibility and liquidity. It is Abraxas’ belief that growth is best achieved through the drill-bit.

The company’s operations are located in the Rocky Mountain, Mid-Continent, Permian Basin and Gulf Coast regions of the United States. Abraxas focuses on quality assets having high working interests with operational and infrastructure control, high producing rates per well, large acreage positions with substantial upside, exploitable using its expertise in horizontal drilling and/or 3-D seismic.

Abraxas recently reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2010 which detailed net income of $11.2 million, or $0.15 per share, compared to net income of $4.5 million, or $0.09 per share, for the same period in 2009. Revenues also increased significantly from $10.9 million to $16.1 million. In the press release, CEO Watson stated that this year should be “very busy operationally” as the company drills multiple wells throughout its portfolio of properties.

Currently four analysts cover the stock with three issuing a “Strong Buy” recommendation and the remaining issuing a “Buy” recommendation. As of last report, the company had $177.8 million in assets with total liabilities of $184.7 million. Approximately 50% of the outstanding shares are held by institutional investors while insiders hold about 10%. With a solid business plan in place and a portfolio of high quality assets, Abraxas is well positioned for continued growth.

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