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Energy Sector Update for 02/15/2018: NBL,CVE,CVE.TO,TRP,TRP.TO

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Top Energy Stocks

XOM -0.39%

CVX -0.14%

COP -1.71%

SLB +0.51%

OXY -0.60%

Energy stocks were again finishing under water on Thursday, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index dropping almost 0.4% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down nearly 0.3% as a group. Crude oil for March delivery settled 74 cents higher at $61.34 per barrel in New York while the benchmark Brent crude April contract fell 57 cents to $63.79 per barrel. March natural gas futures declined 1 cent to $2.58 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, United States Oil was up more than 1.3% while United States Natural Gas was down over 0.5%. The Philadelphia oil-service sector index was down more than 0.7%.

In industry news:

U.S. natural gas inventories fell by 194 billion cubic feet to a total of 1.884 trillion cubic feet during the seven days ended Feb. 9, according to new data issued Thursday morning by the Energy Information Administartion. It was the 13th drawdown of the current heating season and follows a 119 billion cubic foot reduction during the previous week and a 114 billion cubic foot draw during the second week of February 2017.

Among energy stocks moving on news:

+ Noble Energy ( NBL ) was hanging on to a slim decline Thursday after earlier giving back a nearly 4% advance that followed the oil and natural gas producer saying it was selling all of its deepwater oil and gas assets in the Gulf of Mexico to privately held Fieldwood Energy LLC for $710 million. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of calendar 2018, with Fieldwood is expecting to use a portion of the net proceeds from an upcoming $525 million equity rights offering to complete the asset purchase. Noble Thursday also authorized the repurchase of up to $750 million of its common stock through the end of 2020.

In other sector news

+ TransCanada (TRP,TRP.TO) was higher Thursday, climbing almost 6% to a session high of $45.41 a share, after the Canadian energy infrastructure company reported non-GAAP Q4 net income beating Wall Street and Bay Street expectations. Excluding one-time items, the company earned C$0.82 per share, topping the $0.77 per share analyst consensus. Looking ahead the company said it is expecting to generate "significant" additional growth in per-share earnings and cash flow and is also anticipating boosting its annual dividend at the upper end of its forecast 8% to 10% range through 2021.

- Cenovus Energy (CVE,CVE.TO) has turned solidly lower during Thursday trading, falling more than 7% to a session low of $7.30 a share, after the Canadian oil and natural gas producer reported a wider-than-expected Q4 net loss and also lagged its prior-year financial results. Excluding one-time items, the oil and natural gas company recorded a non-GAAP net loss of $0.42 per share, expanding on a $0.39 per share loss during the year-ago period and missing the Capital IQ consensus expecting a net loss of $0.11 per share during the three months ended Dec. 31. Quarterly production rose to 554,606 barrels of oil equivalent per day from 282,718 barrels daily in the year-ago period. The company also declared a $0.05 per share, payable March 29 to shareholders of record on March 15.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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