Contango chief to cut his stake

Contango Oil & Gas has been the Energizer Bunny of small E&Ps in the past year, reporting a 438 percent jump in revenue in 2008 (to $209 million) and 773 percent earnings per share increase – and that’s with a staff of just seven people. This earned the company the No. 4 spot in our Chron 100 survey this year (They also happened to have the most lively table at our awards ceremony in May, lots of hooting and hollering).

chron100contango_nl01 Contango’s Kenneth Peak. (Nathan Lindstrom: For The Chronicle)

After 10 years in business, company chairman and CEO Kenneth Peak said this week he plans to start selling some of his shares in the company, using a pre-programmed trading plan (the 10b5-1 plan). These plans let an executive sell a set number of shares on a regular schedule over time in order to avoid the appearances of anything fishy, such as trying to dump stock just before the release of a bad bit of news.
Nothing wrong with the firm, Peak says, they’re still doing well, remain debt-free with $23 million cash on hand, and just completed the workover on its Mary Rose #2 well.
“Nonetheless, at age 64 it is important for me to diversify a small percentage of my Contango investment and implement an orderly estate plan for my children and charitable organizations,” Peak said.
After the sales he’ll still own or control about 3.1 million shares or 19 percent of Contango’s fully diluted shares.