Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks maintained their early gains into Thursday's close, with the NYSE Energy index rising almost 1.0% this afternoon while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were climbing about 0.9% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for January delivery settled $1.16 higher at $51.45 per barrel while the global benchmark Brent crude January contract advanced 68 cents to $59.44 per barrel. December natural gas futures dropped 5 cents to $4.65 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, the United States Oil fund gained over 2.2% while the United States Natural Gas fund slid more than 2.1%. The Philadelphia Oil-Services index climbed over 0.2%.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
(+) Helmerich & Payne ( HP ) was nearly 1% higher shortly before Thursday's closing bell, climbing back near its session high, after the oilfield-services company said it has formed a new business entity to promote development of advanced technologies to better automize directional drilling and improve reliability and well performance. Another likely benefit of the new unit, H&P Technologies, will be reducing the uncertainty in the directional drilling process in addition to its flexibility of working on any type of drill rig, according to CEO John Lindsay.
In other sector news:
(+) McDermott International ( MDR ) rose almost 9% at one point on Thursday after the oilfield engineering and construction company said it has closed on a $300 million private placement of redeemable preferred stock and warrants. McDermott also said it now has access to a previously announced $230 million letter-of-credit facility.
(+) Hoegh LNG Partners LP ( HMLP ) climbed 2.4% higher on Thursday after the liquefied natural gas carrier and storage partnership reported Q3 net income topping analyst forecasts, earning $0.51 per unit and beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.07 per unit. Revenue increased 4% over the same quarter last year to $37.3 million, roughly in-line with the $37.5 million Street view.
(+) Devon Energy ( DVN ) was fractionally higher late Thursday after saying on Wednesday former CEO John Richels will not stand for re-election as board chairman at the company's upcoming annual meeting of shareholders in June 2019. Richels was chief executive at the oil and natural gas producer between 2010 to July 2015 and became board chairman the following June.