Explained: How are Woodside Energy shares different from that of Woodside Petroleum?

May 28, 2022 12:33 AM AEST | By Ashish
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  • Woodside Petroleum has changed its name to Woodside Energy Group. 
  • Woodside is now trading under its new ASX ticker - WDS.
  • The rebranding decision came along with shareholder approval for Woodside’s proposed merger with BHP Group’s petroleum business. 

Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) developer Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX:WPL) has changed its name to Woodside Energy Group Ltd as it moved on its path to embrace the energy transition. Now, Woodside is trading under its new ASX ticker - WDS. The change came into effect on 25 May 2022 after shareholders approved the new name at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) on 19 May 2022.

So, investors who are unaware of the latest development may be finding it challenging to track the share price movement of Woodside Petroleum.

Commenting on the latest development, Woodside’s chairman Richard Goyder told shareholders before the vote that rebranding was expected to better reflect the company’s “long-term strategic direction and anticipated portfolio evolution through the energy transition.”

Woodside’s share price snapshot

Woodside’s share price has risen over 35% in the past year. The stock is up nearly 30% on a year-to-date (YTD) basis.

To put things into perspective, the ASX 200 Energy Index (XEJ) has gained nearly 30% in the past year. By comparison, the ASX 200 is down 5.5% on a YTD basis. 

Woodside-BHP merger

The rebranding decision came along with shareholder approval for Woodside’s proposed merger with BHP Group’s (ASX:BHP) petroleum business. The merger proposal received 98.66% votes in favour. The merger is expected to be completed by 1 June 2022.

Eligible BHP shareholders would now receive one new Woodside Energy Group share for each 5.534 BHP shares.

Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill was also upbeat about the merger with BHP’s petroleum arm. “The merger is an opportunity for Woodside to increase its contribution to the world’s growing energy needs and build the scale, resilience and diversity to thrive through the energy transition,” she said.

“We generated an operating cash flow of US$3.8 billion, a 105% increase from 2020, strengthening our balance sheet and financial position. We finished the year with more than US$6 billion of liquidity and also maintained our investment-grade credit rating,” O’Neil added.

Woodside’s first-quarter update 

Woodside reported a 17% fall to AU$2.36 billion in sales revenue in the March 2022 quarter compared to the December 2021 quarter. During the period under review, the company reported sales volume of 25.5 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe). In the previous quarter, the company had delivered 31.8 MMboe in sales volume.

The average realised price rose to AU$93 per barrel of oil equivalent, representing a rise of 3% from the fourth quarter of last year. Meanwhile, Woodside expects to reap continued benefits of robust pricing in the second quarter. 

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