Energy stocks are broadly higher, with the NYSE Energy Sector
Index advancing nearly 0.9% while shares of energy companies in the
S&P 500 are rising 1.0% as a group. Crude oil for December
delivery is up 15 cents at $94.76 per barrel while December natural
gas is down 8 cents to $3.43 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Berry Petroleum Co. (
) is up nearly 7% at $52.05 a share, earlier climbing to a new
52-week high of $54.00 after Linn Energy LLC (
) increased its offer for the oil and gas company by $600 million
by boosting the exchange ratio to 1.68 LINE shares from its
previous offer of 1.25 LINE shares for each BRY share.
The deal, first proposed in February, is now worth $4.9 billion,
including assumed debt. The proposed merger has been stalled since
July, however, when the Securities and Exchange Commission opened
an investigation into the transaction and LINE's financial
accounting. The closing date for the deal also was extended to Jan.
31; the firms had been hoping to wrap by year's end.
LINE shares are up about 3% this afternoon.
In other sector news,
(+) OXY, (+1.8%) Raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at
(-) SE, (-0.4%) Q3 earnings of $0.42 per share, ex items, beats
by $0.09. Revenue rise 6.7% to $1.14 bln, trailing the Capital IQ
consensus by $110 mln. Completes drop-down of U.S. assets in
Spectra Energy Partners MLP, setting up large potential future
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