On the day Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones committed $50 million in guaranteed money to Ezekiel Elliott, he was in New York making some of it back. And then some: $62 million, in fact.
In what had to be a wild afternoon of business even for a billionaire like Jones, he made Elliott the richest running back in NFL history and then watched as one of his biggest business holdings outside of the Cowboys had a nice rally on the stock market.
First came Wednesday’s crack-of-dawn news that Dallas had agreed to a massive six-year, $90 million extension with Elliott, including $50 million guaranteed. Then came Jones and his son Stephen ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange a few hours later, in celebration of a massive addition to his business portfolio: a $2.2 billion acquisition of Covey Park Energy, which Jones added to his Comstock Resources firm. The addition will effectively double the drilling locations of the family’s oil and gas holdings.
That was good news for Jones’ Comstock Resources stock price, which gained 11.4 percent in trading, a rebound from a distressed start that had Jones solidly in the red on his investment.
The basic details: Jones picked up 88,571,429 shares of Comstock Energy when he struck a deal to buy the company in 2018, paying $7 a share for a total investment of $620 million. Share prices dipped in the ensuing months, leaving Jones holding a loss on paper. But there has been a longer play in mind for the family and the Covey Park addition was a huge part of that plan, significantly expanding the energy production of Comstock Resources as the firm moves forward.
The news was good enough to lift share prices 70 cents on Wednesday, which technically helped Jones claw back $62 million in the losses he was carrying on paper. Jones is technically still roughly $14 million in the hole on his initial investment. All of that matters little in the grand scheme of where he plans to take the energy company, which once traded at over $140 a share five years ago. Jones bought the company because he saw it as a distressed asset he could revive. Now he’s on the way to doing that in an energy sector that has solid prospects.
None of that had anything to do with Elliott, of course, although it speaks to the magnitude of the deal that both Jones and his son, who is the Cowboys’ CEO, weren’t on-hand late Tuesday night in Texas when a gritty and pivotal part of the Elliott negotiation came together. Instead, they were preparing to ring the bell at the exchange, with Jerry making his first comments on his latest football contract in a way only Jerry can: grinning ear to ear and making quips on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street.
“I just turned my pockets [inside] out upstairs,” Jones joked of the Elliott extension. “It means I’m $100 million lighter as of this morning.”
On paper, that deficit shrank about $62 million within eight hours.
The life of an NFL billionaire, baby.
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