Energy stocks are extending their gains in late trade with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising 0.8% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 are up about 0.9% as a group. Crude oil for November delivery settled 53 cents higher at $103.84 per barrel while November natural gas added 1 cent to finish at $3.51 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Penn Virgina ( PVA ) is up nearly 11% at $7.42 a share, easing just slightly from its new 52-week high of $7.50 a share after analysts at Howard Weil raised their price target for the oil & gas explorer by $2 to $12.
According to a new research note obtained by Barron's, Weil analysts Brian Corales and David Amoss still see plenty of upside for PVA's share price despite a nearly 40% rise in recent weeks. They cite the company's "compelling" acreage in the Eagle Ford shale formation in Texas, explaining those properties should continue to "fuel necessary growth over the next decade."
They also think PVA remains cheap compared to many of its peers, with their new price target having a multiple of just 3.7 times its projected 2014 EBITDA. Overall, they have a Sector Outperform rating for the stock.
In other sector news,
(+) TLM, Shakes off any ill effect of Fitch's Ratings reducing outlook for the oil and gas company to negative from stable while setting a BBB long-term issuer default rating on its senior unsecured notes and unsecured revolvers.
(-) FST, Reverses early gains that followed firm selling oil, gas assets in the Texas Panhandle to Templar Energy LLC for $1 billion. The properties produced about 100 million cubic feet of natural gas per day with 12-month EBITDA of around $180 million.