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 (
) 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
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
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 most 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.
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