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INSTANT VIEW: Exxon Mobil to buy XTO Energy

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp said it will buy XTO Energy Inc, one of the largest U.S. natural gas producers, in a stock deal valued at $41 billion including about $10 billion of debt.

COMMENTARY:

JIM HALLORAN, CONSULTANT, FINANCIAL AMERICA SECURITIES IN CLEVELAND, OHIO

The deal “validates the notion that the natural gas market in the United States will have a lot more ability to generate interest than people had thought.”

“Ten years ago (Exxon Mobil) said they’d rather be anywhere but the U.S., now they’re coming back in.”

FADEL GHEIT, ANALYST, OPPENHEIMER & CO

“Exxon never overpaid for anything.”

“There will be more of these deals, and it will make the industry more resilient to volatility in natural gas prices but also put the industry on a much stronger footing if you will, and it will force the U.S. congress finally to look at the industry as the only way for us to get a national energy policy.”

TOM SCHRADER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, U.S. EQUITY TRADING, STIFEL NICOLAUS CAPITAL MARKETS, BALTIMORE

“The deal should help the rest of the stocks in XTO’s sector. Exxon is making a bold statement about getting into the exploration and production business, but it’s hard to tell if this will start a wave of acquisitions.

“Natural gas is trading at historical lows. Exxon is making a bullish statement about natgas prospects, and if others agree, you could see more deals like this, but only time will tell.”

Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica, Phil Wahba and Ernest Scheyder; Compiled by Tiffany Wu

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