Energy stocks remain mixed late today with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising about 0.5% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down 0.2% as a group. Crude oil for August delivery settled 24 cents lower at $104.24 per barrel while August natural gas added a penny to finish at $4.37 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Cimarex Energy ( XEC ) fell Wednesday, with shares of the exploration and production company backing away from a record high set during yesterday's session despite analysts at Canaccord Genuity today initiating coverage of the stock with a Buy rating.
Canaccord also set a $170 a share price target for XEC, citing its recent, $138 million sale of producing properties in Kansas as well as closing on an asset purchase in the Cana-Woodford shale formation in western Oklahoma. XEC did identify the buyer in Monday's property sale in Kansas.
XEC shares were down about 1.3% at $141.28 late in today's session, earlier falling to a low of $10.52 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $67.02 to $144.82 a share, climbing nearly 110% over the past year.
In other sector news,
(+) HNRG, Buys Vectren Fuels, paying $296 mln for Vectrem's ( VVC ) coal-mining subsidiary. Deal also includes up to $39 mln in working capital adjustments.
(-) TOT, Reaches agreement in principle to sell Totalgaz liquefied petroleum gas distribution business in France to UGI Corp ( UGI ) for between $545 mln to $615 mln.
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