Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks eased modestly from their prior session highs, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index Tuesday still rising over 1.1% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 also were up more than 1.2% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for September delivery settled 63 cents higher at $68.52 per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange while the global benchmark Brent crude September contract was climbing 69 cents to $73.84 per barrel. August natural gas futures rose 1 cent to $2.73 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, United States Oil climbed nearly 1.0% while United States Natural Gas was posting a more than 1.18% increase. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index was down less than 0.1% in late trade.
In industry news:
Oil prices climbed over 1% higher Tuesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration issued its international consumption forecast, saying the United States will consume about 14% of the world's energy by 2040 while China, India and Africa will account for 36% of global energy consumption after another 22 years, up from about 32% currently. Overall, the federal agency is expecting consumption to grow by an average of 0.7% per year through 2040. The American Petroleum Institute also will release its weekly look at U.S. crude oil inventories after today's market close at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
+ Noble Energy ( NBL ) was more than 2% higher late in Tuesday trading, roughly halving a nearly 4% mid-morning gain that followed the oil and natural gas producer declaring a quarterly dividend of $0.11 per share, unchanged from its most recent distribution to investors. The upcoming dividend is payable August 20 to shareholders of record on August 6.
In other sector news,
+ Navios Maritime Midstream Partners LP ( NAP ) was narrowly higher on Tuesday, rising less than 1%, after the master limited partnership that owns and operates crude oil tankers declared a quarterly distribution of $0.125 per unit for the three months ended June 30, unchanged from its Q1 distribution and payable August 14 to investors of record on August 6.
- Peabody ( BTU ) dropped almost 3% on Tuesday after the coal miner reported a surprise Q2 net loss and revenue also trailing Wall Street expectations. Net loss from continuing operations during the three months ended June 30 was $0.93 per share, expanding on an $0.18 per share net loss per share during the year-ago period and missing the Capital IQ consensus expecting Peabody to earn $1.06 per share during the April-to-June reporting period. Revenue rose to $1.309 billion from $1.258 billion last year but also fell short of the $1.357 billion analyst consensus.
- Astec Industries ( ASTE ) plunged Tuesday, dropping as much as 16%, after the asphalt and wood-pellet company swung to a Q2 net loss, missing Wall Street estimates expecting a profit during the April-to-June reporting period. The company also said it will pay $68 million over the next 120 days to one of its wood pellet customers after deciding to exit its wood pellet plant contract. It also will forgive $7 million in receivables to the customer. Separately, Astec said it has retained the Maine Pointe consulting firm to assist with a strategic review of its comprehensive sourcing and capital allocation.