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Sector Update: Energy

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 12/31/2012 12:14:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: ALDW;ALJ

Energy stocks are slightly higher today with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing about 0.3% and the S&P Energy Index also adding about 0.3%. Crude oil for February delivery is up 39 cents to $91.19 per barrel. February natural gas is down 10 cents at $3.37 per 1 million BTU.

In company news, Alon USA Energy Inc. ( ALJ ) is up more than 10% and has hit 52 week highs today after analysts at Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of the stock with a Buy rating and a $21 price target.

Goldman also began coverage of Alon USA Partners ( ALDW ) with a Neutral rating and a $31 a share price target, noting ALJ's C-Corporation status is more likely to appeal to a broader group of investors, according to the research note obtained by StreetInsider. ALDW is up nearly 1%

"Relative to Buy-rated domestic oil companies that show less upside, we prefer to keep some diversification among our Buy-rated top picks. With that said, we see significant upside to our target price for ALDW, making it a favorite Neutral-rated stock," according to the note.

In other sector news,

(+) BPZ, (+7.2%) Peru government signs Supreme Decree allowing oil and gas company to amend its Block Z-1 license and add Pacific Rubiales Corp (PRE.TO) to the contract. PRE.TO is down about 0.8% today.

(+) XOM, (+0.2%) Began expansion of its petrochemical complex in Singapore, with plans to add 2.6 million of finished product capacity.