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Energy Stocks Little Changed in Mid-Day Trade; Renewable Energy Group Jumps on New Bio-Diesel Rules

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 9/17/2012 12:56:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: BIOF;REGI

Top Energy Stocks

XOM -0.17%, earlier hit year highs

CVX +0.8%, has hit year highs

COP +0.5%

SLB +0.50%

OXY -0.75%

Energy stocks are little changed this afternoon with the NYSE Energy Sector Index and the S&P Energy Index both rising less than 0.1% today. Crude oil for October delivery is up 24 cents at $99.24 a barrel. October natural gas is down 6 cents at $2.88 per 1 million BTU.

In company news, Renewable Energy Group ( REGI ) is ahead nearly 30% today, rising for a second consecutive session, after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday set a 1.28 billion-gallon requirement for bio-diesel products to be sold in 2013 - up from 1 billion gallons this year.

In a note to investors this morning, Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Cox said the EPA's delay in formalizing its 2013 target had led investors to question whether the regulator would delay a final ruling may be postponed until after the presidential election.

Cox also reiterated his Overweight rating and $9 price target for REGI shares.

Biofuel Energy ( BIOF ), another U.S. biodiesel producer, also is higher, advancing 17.5%.

In other sector news,

(+) RDS-A, (+0.9%) Revising 2012-13 exploration program for offshore Alaska because of damage to a containment dome. Company will forego drilling into hydrocarbon zones and instead will drill as many "top-hole" wells as time allows before capping and temporarily abandoning the new wells.

(+/-) BKEP, (+0.5%) Pipeline company names Mark Hurley as its new chief executive officer, effective Sept. 20. He replaces James Dyer, who resigned the position as well as stepping down as a director on the board of BKEP's general partner.

(-) PSX, (-1%) Citigroup downgrade to Neutral from Buy. Price target raised by $9 a share to $49.

(-) IOC, (-1.2%) At least two firms reportedly have made offers for a stake in the company's LNG project in Papua, New Guinea.

(-) VLO, (-3.6%) Citigroup cuts rating to Neutral from Buy while raising price target to $35 a share from $31. Shares hit a new 52-week high of $34.35 each last week.

(-) ULTR, (-3.7%) Receives notice of potential Nasdaq delisting. Company now has 180 days to regain compliance with minimum share requirements.