Markets

Energy Sector Update for 12/18/2015: UPL, GMLP, ATW

Top Energy Stocks

XOM -0.06%

CVX -0.34%

COP -2.88%

SLB -2.14%

OXY -0.44%

Energy stocks were ending mostly lower today, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index dropping about 0.8% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down over 1.2% as a group.

In company news, shares of Ultra Petroleum ( UPL ) rose sharply on Friday, overcoming a downgrade of the oil and natural gas producer today to Sell from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus, which also set a $1.50 a share price target for the stock.

One likely factor in the stock's rise was U.S. House and Senate approval of legislation today lifting the ban on U.S. energy exports States that has been in place for over 40 years since soon after the original OPEC embargo in response to U.S. support for Israel during the Yom Kippur Arab-Israeli war in October 1973.

UPL shares were up more than 17% at $2.37 each, backing away from a recent climb to $3.27 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) GMLP, Authorizes $25 mln stock buyback program. Also says it has not experienced any material changes in operations since reporting its Q3 results, with the company still expecting to declare a $0.5775 per unit Q4 distribution.

(-) ATW, Announces agreement with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering to delay requirement ATW take delivery of two newbuild ultra-deepwater drillships until September 2017 and June 2018, respectively, in exchange for $100 mln payment on Dec 31.

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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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