Energy stocks are narrowly mixed, with the NYSE Energy Sector
Index falling about 0.1% while shares of energy companies in the
S&P 500 are up less than 0.1% as a group. Crude oil for
February delivery is down 23 cents at $94.17 per barrel while
February natural gas is up 6 cents to $4.39 per 1 million BTU.
Front-month prices for natural gas futures gave up a large part
of their earlier gains after government data reported a record drop
in natural gas supplies last week although the decline wasn't quite
as large as market experts were expecting.
The Energy Information Agency reported a decline of 287 billion
cubic feet in U.S. commercial natural gas inventories to 2.53
trillion cubic feet during the week ended Jan. 10. That narrowly
topped the all-time largest week draw of 285 billion cubic feet
during a cold snap last month, but lagged the market consensus
looking for a draw of at least 300 billion cubic feet following
last week's record cold through much of the country, according to a
Futures prices declined following the EIA report, natural gas
for February delivery slipped from a 15-cent advance just before
the 10:30 a.m. ET release to now trade around $4.39 per 1 million
BTU, up about 6 cents for the session in NYMEX trade.
In company news, Kinder Morgan (
) shares rose slightly Thursday, overcoming Q4 earnings that
trailed Wall Street expectations by increasing its quarterly
dividend by 11% over its previous payout.
KMI earned $0.33 per share during the three months ended Dec.
31, 2013, down from a $0.34 profit in the year-ago period and
missing the Capital IQ consensus by $0.02 per share. Revenue rose
25.8% year over year to $3.87 bln, matching estimates.
The company also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.41 per
share, up $0.04 from its $0.37 per share dividend during the prior
quarter and payable Feb. 18 to shareholders of record on Jan. 31.
KMI finished 2013 with $1.713 billion available for dividends, up
21% from the end of the prior year and exceeding its published
annual budget of $1.632 billion.
KMI also said it expects, subject to board approval, to reduce
its ownership stakes in several partnerships this year - including
its 50% interest each in Ruby Pipeline and Gulf LNG and a 47.5%
percent interest in Young Gas Storage - through sales to El Paso
Pipeline Partners LP (
), trimming the revenue and earnings contributions those units
currently are providing the company.
Shares were up 0.3% at $35.60 each in recent trade. The stock
has a 52-week range of $32.82 to $41.49 a share.
In other sector news,
(+) SGY, (+2.4%) Proved reserves at end of 2013 rise 12% over
prior-year levels to 143.9 mln barrels of oil equivalent. Q4 daily
production averaged around 49,800 barrels, or about 299 mln cubic
feet per day, well above the company's original guidance.
(+) GLOG, (+7.0%) Liquefied natural gas shipper reverses early
decline that followed pricing an upsized offering of 9.5 mln shares
priced at $15.75 each. Certain directors, executives and one major
shareholder also purchased $36.5 mln of shares in concurrent
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