Sector Update: Energy

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Shares of energy companies are slightly higher this morning with oil field services company Schlumberger ( SLB ) reporting an adjusted $1.11 a share profit on $10.97 billion in revenues. Analysts, on average, were expecting SLB to produce a $1.09 EPS and $10.79 billion in sales. It generated an $0.85 a share gain and $9.07 billion in sales during the same period last year.

The outlook for 2012 is unclear "due to the continuing sovereign-debt crisis in Europe," negatively affecting GDP and oil-demand forecasts, SLB Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard said in a statement. Nonetheless, SLB shares were edging higher in Friday's pre-market.

Light, sweet crude for February delivery is lower this morning at $99.77 a barrel in NYMEX trade, down $0.62. Brent crude, is 0.12% lower today at $111.41 a barrel. Natural gas is currently trading at $2.340 per 1 million British Thermal Units, up nearly 2 cents.

In company news, ONEOK Partners, L.P. ( OKS ) last night raised its guidance for 2011 net income to a new range $10 million either side of $830 million, topping its previous range of $740 million to $770 million. The natural-gas transporter also raised its cash distribution to 61 cents per unit, payable Feb. 12, up from a previous 59.5 cents per unit. The stock rose fractionally in after-hours trading.

Also, New York hedge fund and activist investors Jana Partners LLC late yesterday disclosed a 5.5% stake in Marathon Petroleum Corp. ( MPC ), becoming the refiner's largest individual shareholder. Marathon Petroleum is one of the largest refiners in the U.S., formed last June with the refinery and pipeline assets of Marathon Oil Corp. ( MRO ), which decided to focus on its exploration operations. In a regulatory filing disclosing its new stake, Jana said it has discussed operations with Marathon but didn't provide further details. The hedge fund also said it now owns 19.7 million Marathon shares, spending $636 million. Marathon had no comment when contacted by the Wall Street Journal.



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: MPC , MRO , OKS , SLB

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