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Raymond James backs "Outperform" rating for QEP

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Raymond James analyst on Tuesday backed his "Outperform" rating for QEP Resources Inc., saying that it should get a boost from the upcoming spinoff of its assets into a new company, along with gains from the sales of some of its other assets currently on the market.

THE OPINION: Andrew Coleman noted that QEP shares have rebounded slightly since the Denver-based oil and gas company filed for an initial public offering for its "midstream" assets earlier this year. Midstream activities broadly refer to the processing, storage, marketing and shipping of oil and gas.

"We believe that the company will continue to unlock value as it drops down its midstream assets into the master limited partnership, which garner a premium multiple to the higher-risk exploration and production business," Coleman wrote in a note to investors.

Meanwhile, other key QEP assets remain on the market and if they are sold it would further shore up the company's balance sheet and help fund its exploration and production business. And the company continues to bring new wells online that are posting strong results, he said.

THE SHARES: Up 70 cents, or 2 percent, to $29.33 in afternoon trading, after peaking at $29.91 earlier in the day. Over the past 52 weeks, the company's shares have traded between $24.35 and $33.50. They are down about 3 percent for 2013.