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CRK

Energy Stocks Edging Higher Today; Comstock Resources Higher After $768-Mln Asset Sale

Top Energy Stocks

XOM -0.75%

CVX -0.61% from near year highs.

COP -0.72%

SLB +1.04%, nearer 52 week highs.

OXY -0.84%

Energy stocks are narrowly higher today with the NYSE Energy Sector Index and the S&P Energy Index both rising a little more than 0.1%. Crude oil for April delivery is up 47 cents to $93.50 per barrel. May natural gas is up 6 cents to $3.91 per 1 million BTU.

In company news, Comstock Resources Inc. ( CRK ) is up nearly 14% at $18.16 a share but off a day high $18.86 after announcing a $768-mln deal selling 53,306 acres of oil and gas properties in the Permian Basin of western Texas to Rosetta Resources Inc ( ROSE ). The sales is expected to close by May 15. ROSE shares are up about 4% at $51.90, but off a day high $53.18 which was closer to a year high $54.61.

CRK plans to use proceeds from the sale to pay down debt as well as increasing its drilling program in the Eagle Ford shale. The company also revised its FY13 capital budget to reflect its sale of Permian Basin assets and is now expecting to spend $410 mln on drilling activities, including spending around $312 mln on 72 natural gas wells in the Eagle Ford formation with the remaining funds spent on developing gas properties in eastern Texas and northern Louisiana.

It also will spend about $12 mln on exploratory leaseholds. Prior to the divestiture, CRK had planned to drill 16 wells this year, spending about $63 mln.

In other sector news,

(-) CPE, (-8.5%) Q4 EPS of $0.01 lags Street forecasts by $0.03. Revenue of $28.7 mln also misses analyst projections by $2.59 mln.

(-) EGY, (-11.5%) Turns year-ago profit into a $0.33-per-share net loss, also trailing analyst estimates looking for net income of $0.31 per share. Revenue slides 20.9% to $53.6 mln.

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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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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