Energy Sector Update for 12/17/2015: GST,LEU,TK
Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks were falling hard Thursday, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index sinking nearly 2.4% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down over 2.2% as a group. Crude oil for January delivery was down 76 cents at $34.76 per barrel while January natural gas futures were little changed at $1.79 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Gastar Exploration ( GST ) advanced Thursday after the exploration and production company late yesterday reported successful results from its first well in the Meramec shale formation in central Oklahoma.
According to the company, the Deep River 30-1H well began flow-back on Oct. 28 and has been gradually increasing oil and gas production to a recent initial peak 24-hour rate of 1,094 barrels of oil equivalent per day and 1,549 barrels of completion fluids recovered per day. Gastar has a 100% working interest and an 80% net revenue interest in the well.
The company last night also said it has completed its $42.1 million purchase of working and net revenue interests in 103 producing wells as well as around 15,700 acres of developed and undeveloped properties in Oklahoma. Gastar also exchanged around 11,000 non-producing acres in the state with the buyer, Husky Ventures, and the companies agreed to drop their lawsuits against the other firm as part of the transaction.
GST shares were up more than 4% this afternoon at $1.33 apiece, earlier topping out at $1.47 a share.
In other sector news,
(+) LEU, (+15.8%) New federal spending bill provides $100 mln to the U.S. Department of Energy and its program to maintain and advance American leadership in uranium enrichment technology. The measure also includes $50 million in direct appropriations, which the Department had previously stated it would use to support critical centrifuge research and testing at Centrus' facilities in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
(-) TK, (-59.3%) Reduces quarterly dividend by 90% to $0.055 per share. Downgrades today at Credit Suisse, Wells Fargo, Seaport Global Securities and RBC Capital Markets, which also slashed its price target by $36 to $16 a share.
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