Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks reversed earlier declines and were finishing with strong gains, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising 0.7% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down 0.8% as a group. Crude oil for November delivery settled 43 cents higher at $44.91 per barrel while November natural gas fell 4 cents to finish at $2.67 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Peabody Energy Corp. ( BTU ) rallied Thursday following reports that some of the coal miner's senior lenders retained legal help to assist them protect the value of their assets ahead of expected talks by Peabody to renegotiate its $6.3 billion of debt.
Bloomberg, citing a person with knowledge of the matter, said creditors holding around $1.17 billion of Peabody debt have hired the Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP law firm to protect their interests during the likely debt talks. In particular, the lenders are worried about possible debt-exchange proposals that could potentially dilute their value of their existing debt.
BTU shares were up almost 26% at $1.42 apiece in late trade, easing slightly from their session high of $1.44 a share. The stock had dropped nearly 91% over the past 12 months before today's advance.
In other sector news,
(+) ACI, Extends deadline for debt exchange to Oct. 26. Through last night, noteholders representing $1.57 bln of debt have tendered existing notes for longer-term securities that will cut total debt and interest costs by 20%.
(-) MPLX, Revises storage services agreement with a Marathon Petroleum ( MPC ) subsidiary for its tank farm in Patoka, Ill.
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