The coronavirus crisis and Anadarko’s acquisition have been weighing on Occidental Petroleum’s stock (NYSE: OXY) since the beginning of the year. With the stock down by a staggering 76%, is it the right time to take a closer look? The company’s cash position deteriorated through the first and second quarters as the declining benchmark prices dragged down operating margins. Occidental ended the June quarter with $1 billion of cash, but its short-term debt stood much higher at $2.4 billion. While long-term equity returns depend on the company’s strategy to manage its huge debt pile of $36 billion, Trefis believes that the ongoing asset sales are likely to provide an uptick to the stock and boost investor sentiments.

In order to address near-term debt maturities, the company has entered into purchase and sale agreements to divest Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah assets for $1.3 billion and its Colombia assets for $825 million. As the transactions are expected to close during the fourth quarter, the company will achieve its $2 billion asset divestiture target for 2020.

Occidental Petroleum’s revenues increased by 60% from $13.2 billion in 2017 to $21.2 billion in 2019, primarily driven by Anadarko’s acquisition and augmented by increased production & stable benchmark prices.

While the company has seen steady revenue growth over recent years, its P/S multiple has declined. The increased debt load and macroeconomic weakness have been key factors behind the falling stock price as interest expenses zoomed from $0.4 billion in 2018 to $1.06 billion in 2019 – taking the net income margin to negative territory. With a series of asset sales on the cards,

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who hasn’t yet said if he’s running for re-election next year, increased his campaign spending last month, including doling out more than $50,000 on consultants, new campaign finance data show.

He continues to have significantly more cash in the bank than City Councilors Andrea Campbell and Michelle Wu, who have already announced they are running for mayor in 2021.

In September, Walsh’s campaign spent more than $90,000, according to state records. That amount represents an increase in expenditures compared to recent months; the campaign spent more than $29,000 in August, and more than $33,000 in both June and July. May saw the campaign spend more than $530,000, but that figure included a half-million-dollar donation to the Boston Resiliency Fund, which was set up to help those most in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some political observers say Walsh’s September campaign finance spending could represent a ramp-up to a re-election bid in next year’s mayoral contest.

“An uptick in his spending indicates he’s not leaving, it looks more like a preparation,” said Louis DiNatale, a Massachusetts pollster.

Ray La Raja, a political science professor at UMass Amherst, said politicians who are Walsh’s age “are always running for something.” (Walsh is 53.) La Raja said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Walsh campaign is spending money on focus groups.

“He’s trying to see how tough the race is going to be,” said La Raja.

Candice Nelson, a government professor at American University, said “you can at least assume he’s considering” a re-election bid.

“Why else would he be doing this?” Nelson asked of his campaign activity.

She added, “We’re a year out, if he’s going to run, it’s probably time to start gearing up.”

Last month, the Walsh campaign paid SKDKnickerbocker, a Washington, D.C.-based political consultant and strategic