Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks were ending sharply lower, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index dropping more than 2.9% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down nearly 2.7% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for July delivery settled $2.83 lower at $67.88 per barrel, losing almost 4%, in New York while the global benchmark Brent crude July contract declined $2.40 to $76.39 per barrel. June natural gas futures was unchanged at $2.94 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, United States Oil slipped nearly 4.2% while United States Natural Gas slid just 0.1% lower. The Philadelphia oil-service sector index also was down almost 4.4%.
In industry news,
Oil prices fell more than 4% on Friday following reports Saudi Arabia and Russia were mulling production increases to offset declining supplies resulting from new sanctions on Iran and the collapse of the oil industry in Venezuela. The world's largest and second largest oil producers reportedly are considering boosting output by as much as one million barrels per day when they meet in Vienna next month.
Prices also were pressured by new data indicating North American oil companies were ramping up production to take advantage of crude oil climbing to a four-year high in recent months by bring more drillrigs into the field. U.S. companies added 15 oil rigs during the seven days ended May 25, reaching a 38-month high of 659 rigs, according to the weekly inventory report by Baker Hughes ( BHGE ). Two natural gas rigs also were idled throughout the United States this week, slipping to 198 rigs. Canadian producers removed three more oil rigs this week while bring one gas rig online, for a total of 35 and 46 rigs, respectively.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
- Marathon Oil Corp ( MRO ) declined Friday, at one point sinking almost 6%, despite analysts' continuing to tweak their earnings estimates for the oil and natural gas company during FY18 and FY19. The 23 published FY18 estimates for Marathon were again averaging $0.74 per share, adding $0.01 per share to their previous consensus call just one day after it was cut by a penny to $0.73 per share. The FY19 EPS mean estimate of 26 analysts also rose for the second day in a row, Friday climbing $0.02 to $0.86 per share following a $0.01 per share increase on Thursday.
In other sector news
+ Cheniere Energy ( LNG ) turned higher Friday afternoon, reversing a 1.5% loss soon after the opening bell that followed the liquified natural gas company's this morning filing a shelf registration with federal regulators to sell an unspecified amount of mixed securities, which may include common or preferred stock, warrants, equity units and debt securities. Net proceeds from any offering would be added to the company's general funds and used for general corporate purposes.
- Callon Petroleum Company ( CPE ) retreated Friday, sinking as much as 5%, after the oil and natural gas producer priced a $259.6 million public offering of 22 million shares of its common stock at $11.80 apiece, a 5.4% discount to Thursday's closing price. The company also provided underwriters with an option to buy up to 3.3 million additional shares and it expects to use the net proceeds to partially fund the $570 million cash acquisition of oil and natural gas assets in Ward Country, Texas, from Cimarex Energy Co. ( XEC ).
- Apache Corp (APA) slumped Friday, at one point falling more than 4%, after the company declared a $0.25 per share dividend, unchanged from its most recent distribution to investors and payable Aug. 22 to shareholders of record on July 23.