The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Amazon.com, Facebook, Whiting Petroleum, Kodiak Oil & Gas and Clayton Williams Energy

Per earlier FAA guidelines, hobbyists and model aircraft makers are allowed to fly drones, but commercial drone delivery to people for a fee remains illegal. Amazon has, therefore, requested FAA for an exemption so that it could test its drones in the U.S.

Amazon is currently working on a drone-based delivery service which will use airborne robotic drones to deliver packages to consumers in 30 minutes. The company claims that these eighth and ninth generation drones can fly up to 50 miles per hour and carry nearly 5 pounds. The company also said that it will abide by stricter safety measures than required by FAA policies and regulations for such operations.

Drones are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles that are either pre-programmed or controlled by pilots from the ground. While some of these drones are small enough to fit in a child’s palm, others are as massive as jumbo jets. These can be programmed to perform various tasks ranging from surveillance, agriculture, pizza delivery, extreme photography to rescue operations. However, the technology is still in a nascent stage.

Amazon currently holds a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

As per the terms of the agreement, shareholders of Kodiak will get 0.177 share of Whiting Petroleum for every Kodiak share they hold. On completion of the agreement, Whiting Petroleum shareholders will be the owner of about 71% of the combined company whereas Kodiak shareholders will have 29% ownership.

Management at Whiting Petroleum stated that the transaction adds significant high return drilling acreage to its inventory and is expected to be accretive to the company’s cash flow, earnings as well as production from 2015 onwards.

Kodiak management stated that it expects the transaction to bring about operational and financial flexibility in the combined company that will facilitate better and faster development of the company assets. Moreover, Kodiak expects the deal to be tax free for the company’s U.S. shareholders.

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