Energy stocks were ending moderately higher this afternoon with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising about 0.4% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 also were up about 0.4% as a group. Crude oil for July delivery settled 19 cents higher at $102.66 per barrel while July natural gas rose 2 cents to finish at $4.63 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Devon Energy ( DVN ) rose to a new multi-year high Tuesday after analysts at Wells Fargo today raised their rating for the oil and gas company to Outperform from Market Perform, citing improving production visibility and peer-leading EBITDA growth.
In a new research note today, Wells Fargo analyst David Tameron said the rising production visibility should drive momre than 20% growth in crude oil production over the next few year, driven by output from the Permian and Eagle Ford fields as well as from Canada.
He also set a price target range of $85 to $90 for the stock.
DVN shares were up about 1.5% at $74.77 each this afternoon, earlier advancing to $75.00 a share to reach its best level since July 2011. The stock has risen almost 32% over the past 12 months.
In other sector news,
(+) SARA, Rocky 3 Well exceeds expectations, testing at over 1,500 barrels of oil and 240,000 cubic feet of natural per day. SARA's other horizontal wells in the same field, drilled in 2013, also continue to perform well.
(-) SMLP, Summit Investments exercises option to pay $377 mln for a 40% equity stake in Ohio Gathering Co. and Ohio Condensate Co. from affiliates of MarkWest and The Energy & Minerals Group.
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