Energy stocks were higher Thursday, with the NYSE Energy Sector
Index climbing about 0.6% while shares of energy companies in the
S&P 500 were up 0.6% as a group. Crude oil for March delivery
was up 21 cents at $100.58 per barrel. March natural gas rose 29
cents to $5.11 per 1 million BTU, adding to earlier gain after a
government inventory report found a larger pull last week than
market experts were expecting.
In company news, Rice Energy (
) shares fell Thursday after the oil and gas company late Wednesday
announced a $110 million cash transaction to acquire gathering
assets in the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania.
The assets to be acquired from M3 Midstream include 28 miles of
pipeline in eastern Washington county, along with permits and
rights of way needed to construct a 30-inch pipeline stretching
over 18 miles connecting the existing pipeline with the Texas
Eastern Gas Co. pipeline operated by Spectra Energy (
The existing pipeline system is supported by long-term contracts
with other gas and oil companies covering approximately 20,000
acres. Once fully constructed, the acquired pipelines will have an
aggregate capacity of over 1 billion cubic feet per day. The deal
is expected to close next month, with a March 1 effective date.
RICE shares were down 0.8% at $23.69 apiece in recent trade,
retreating again after a quick stay on positive ground earlier. The
company went public on Jan. 24, pricing an upsized initial public
offering of 50 million shares at $21 apiece. The company sold 30
million shares in the IPO, pocketing about $594.5 million in net
proceeds after paying underwriter discounts and other offering
In other sector news,
(+) IO, (+26.0%) Oilfield services firm earns $0.33 per share
during Q4, ex items, crushing analyst estimates looking for $0.06
profit. Revenue grows 26% over year-ago levels to $173.1 mln,
topping expectations by $46.6 mln.
(-) CJES, (-3.5%) Earns $0.13 in Q4, down from $0.56 per share
last year and trailing estimates by $0.16 per share. Revenue
declines 7% year over year to $265.4 mln, missing Street view by
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