March 30, 2017 / 1:57 PM / in 8 months

BUZZ-ConocoPhillips: top of S&P on deal to sell assets to Cenovus

** ConocoPhillips’s shares up 6.2 pct, top pct gainer and top boost to S&P 500, on deal to sell assets to Cenovus Energy

** Cenovus down 11 pct, top pct loser and top drag on Toronto index; CVE top traded stock across US and Canadian exchanges

** Morgan Stanley says deal price (C$13.3 bln in cash, stock) “is not as sweet as recent industry oil sands deals”

** Barclays say Conoco has removed residual concerns about its balance sheet, sale could be important catalyst for shares

** Conoco plans to retire $7 bln worth of debt by November 2017, in line with medium-term target debt level

** UBS upgrades Conoco to “buy” from “neutral”; lifts PT to $55 from $51

** Conoco cuts YTD losses to 2.7 pct, while Cenovus extends losses to 23 pct

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