Markets

Energy Sector Update for 12/16/2015: CRC, ESES, CHKE

Top Energy Stocks

XOM -0.33%

CVX +0.92%

COP -2.46%

SLB -0.90%

OXY +0.67%

Energy stocks were paring some of their earlier losses that followed the government's weekly crude oil inventory report showing a surprise increase of 4.8 million barrels in commercial stockpiles during the seven days ended Dec. 11 compared with the prior week. The expert consensus had been anticipating a 2.5 million barrel decline. In recent trade, the NYSE Energy Sector Index was slipping around 0.2% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down over 0.4% as a group.

In company news, California Resources ( CRC ) fell to a record low on Wednesday, with shares of the oil and natural gas company late yesterday saying it expects to have cut its 2015 cash costs by 11% compared with prior-year levels, excluding interest charges, while capital spending this year was expected to total around $400 million.

The company also said it was on pace to complete 311 wells during 2015 while investing around $160 million on its infrastructure and facilities. Overall, it was projecting a 1% increase in production next over 2014 levels, including a 5% rise in average crude oil production to 104,000 barrels per day.

California Resources last night also said it completed a bond exchange earlier this month reducing the principal amount by $563 million while increasing its interest costs by only $21 million, adding it was pursuing more transactions to deleverage the company but does not expect to announce any specific moves during 2015 because of the decline in commodity prices.

CRC shares were down over 14% at $2.24 each, or just 5 cents above their all-time low.

In other sector news,

(+) ESES, Authorizes $5 mln stock-buyback program extending through Dec. 16, 2017.

(-) CHK, Doubles debt-exchange offer to $3 bln and extends early tender date by three extra days until Friday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. ET. Says $2.8 bln of its debt securities still were outstanding as of Dec. 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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