Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks this afternoon continued to add to their modest gains from earlier in Wednesday trading, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing more than 0.4% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 also were up just under 0.4% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for June delivery settled 72 cents higher at $62.12 per barrel, reversing its morning decline, while the global benchmark Brent crude July contract advanced 43 cents to $70.31 per barrel. June natural gas futures rose 7 cents to $2.61 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, the United States Oil fund was ahead slightly more than 1.6% while the United States Natural Gas fund was climbing almost 2.7%. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index was little changed shortly before the closing bell, erasing most of its prior slide.
In industry news:
Crude oil prices turned higher after new data Wednesday showed a larger-than-expected decline in US inventories last week, dropping by 4 million barrels during the seven days ended May 3 to 466.6 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration. That compares with the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday reporting a 2.8 million-barrel increase last week while industry experts polled by S&P Global Platts, on average, had been expecting the EIA data to show a 2.2 million-barrel decline.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
(+) Chesapeake Energy ( CHK ) was almost 5% higher late Wednesday. The natural gas and oil producer reported non-GAAP Q1 net income of $0.14 per share, more than halving its $0.34 per share profit during the year-ago period and coming within a penny of the Capital IQ consensus forecast expecting $0.15 per share. Revenue also declined 25% from the same quarter last year to $929 million, also missing the $1.13 billion Street view.
In other sector news:
(+) Diamondback Energy ( FANG ) was trading 7% higher on Wednesday afer the oil and natural gas producer reported a decline in non-GAAP Q1 net income to $1.39 per share from $1.64 per share during the prior-year period but still beating the $1.35 per share Street view for the three months ended March 31.
(+) Nine Energy Service ( NINE ) was almost 9% higher after reporting Q1 net income of $0.76 per share, excluding one-time items and beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.54 per share.
(-) Marathon Petroleum ( MPC ) fell over 6% after agreeing to acquire Andeavor Logistics ( ANDX ) through a $9 billion stock swap by its MPLX subsidiary. Marathon also reported a surprise Q1 net loss of $0.01 per share, missing the Capital IQ consensus looking for a $0.22 per share profit.