Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks were sharply lower this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index sinking almost 4.0%, reversing a nearly 1.0% gain, while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down almost 4.6% as a group. Crude oil for March delivery settled 22 cents lower at $65.44 per barrel in New York while the benchmark Brent crude April contract also was down $1.01 to $68.64 per barrel. March natural gas futures rose a penny to $2.86 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, United States Oil was down 1.2% while United States Natural Gas was down more than 0.8%. The Philadelphia oil-service sector index was down 4.6%.
In industry news:
Oil prices slid further lower on Friday as traders took profits and the U.S. dollar strengthened against other currencies after better-than-expected job data for January renewed worries the Federal Reserve will accelerate its program of interest-rate increases. Traders also appeared to be influenced by inventory data earlier this week showing the first increase in crude oil supplies since mid-November. But those bearish signs did not keep Goldman Sachs yesterday lifting its price forecast to $75 per barrel from $62 previously, saying factors that helped pushed oil to a three-year high last week will maintain their momentum.
The number of oil rigs operating throughout the United States rose by six to 765 during the week ended today, reaching its highest level since Aug. 11, according to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes ( BHGE ). The number of U.S. natural gas rigs in use fell by seven to 181. Canadian oil producers also continued adding rigs this week, bringing another 14 rigs online for 234 rigs overall, while 10 gas rigs were pulled from service up north, leaving 108 gas rigs still in use. Overall, the North American total increased by three to 1,288 rigs this compared with 1,072 in use during the same week last year.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
Parsley Energy ( PE ) was down almost 3% in late Friday trading, with the oil and natural gas producer getting little apparent help today from analysts at Deutsche Bank who began coverage of Parsley with a Buy rating and a $38 price target. The move follows the company earlier this week saying its FY17 production rose about 78% over prior year levels, reaching 68,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The company also said it completed 41 wells during Q4, consistent with plans.
In other sector news
- BWX Technologies ( BWXT ) was fighting broader market downdrafts Friday, with shares of the nuclear energy components company dropping about 1% today, after its BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada subsidiary received a C$18.6 mln ($15.1 mln), four-year contract to manufacture zircaloy-4 seamless tubes for Romanian nuclear power plant operator Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica SA ( SNN ). The tubes will be produced at the company's tubing operation in Arnprior, Ont.
- Exxon Mobil ( XOM ) fell hard on Friday, at one point dropping nearly 6% to a session low of $83.87 a share, after the energy major reported adjusted Q4 net income and revenue missing analyst projections. The company earned $0.88 per share during the final three months of 2017, slipping 2% from year-ago levels, and lagging the Capital IQ consensus by $0.15 per share. Revenue rose 17.9% over the same quarter last year to $66.5 bln, also trailing the $74.4 bln analyst mean.
- Phillips 66 (PSX) has been trending lower throughout Friday trading despite today reporting Q4 net income of $1.07 per share, breezing past the Street view by $0.21 per share. Revenue jumped to $3.2 bln from just $163 mln last year and also topping the $3.06 bln analyst forecast.
- Chevron (CVX) declined almost 4% on Friday, reaching a session low of $120.58 a share, after the energy major today reported Q4 revenue that grew less-than-expected compared with year-ago levels than Wall Street was expecting. Total revenue during the three months ended Dec. 31 rose 19.4% over the same quarter last year to $37.62 bln, lagging the $38.43 bln analyst mean. Net income also increased to $1.64 per share from 0.22 per share last year and easily beating the $1.24 per share Capital IQ consensus.