Energy Stocks Mostly Higher; Harvest Natural Resources Up 13% After $400-Mln Sale of Venezuelan Assets


Top Energy Stocks

Energy stocks are broadly higher, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index gaining 1.0% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 are ahead 0.9% as a group. Crude oil for January delivery is up 80 cents at $97.40 per barrel while January natural gas is down 8 cents at $4.27 per 1 million BTU.

In company news, Harvest Natural Resources ( HNR ) is up 13.5% at $4.47 a share, climbing as high as $4.82 on plans to sell all of its Venezuelan interests through a pair of deals totaling $400 million with Petroandina Resources and Pluspetrol Resources.

HNR closed the first $125-million transaction, with closing of the remaining $275-million purchase subject to shareholder approvals along with local government approval in Venezuela's Bolivarian Republic.

The company expects to pocket around $320 million in net proceeds from the deals, which will be used to pay down long-term debt and for working capital.

In other sector news,

(+) PEIX, (+0.8%) Ethanol-producer reduces the principal of its senior notes by $2 mln by issuing 500,000 shares of its common stock. Also buys additional 6% ownership stake in the Pacific Ethanol plants for $500,000; now owns 91% overall.

(-) USU, (-55.2%) Uranium miner agrees with a majority of holders of senior convertible notes to replace $530 mln of the notes maturing October 2014 with new debt and equity. Expects to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition during Q114.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: HNR

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