Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks are higher, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising 0.5% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 are up 0.6% as a group. Crude oil for March delivery is up about 1%, rising 96 cents to $98.32 per barrel while February natural gas is sharply lower, plunging 6.7% to $5.10 per 1 million BTU, down 37 cents.
In company news, Peabody Energy Corp. ( BTU ) shares fell Thursday, declining 1.8% to $17.07 in recent trade after its Q4 revenue declined more than analysts expected, trumping a narrower year over year net loss for the coal miner during the quarter.
Total revenue fell 14% compared to the same quarter last year to $1.74 billion during the final three months of 2013, trailing the Thomson Reuters consensus by around $30 million. The company blamed weak prices for coal used in steel-making as well as a labor stoppage at two of its mines in Australia.
The company also reported a net loss from continuing operations of $286 million, or $1.52 per share, down more than 39% from the year-ago period. After deducting one-time items - including $528.3 million in pre-tax asset impairment charges for several operating and non-operating properties in the United States and Australia as well as a $30.6 million charge following BTU's settlement with Patriot Coal and the United Mine Workers of America - BTU said it posted adjusted EPS of $0.34 per share, topping analyst predictions for a $0.10 net loss.
Looking forward, the company sees its Q1 EPS ranging between a $0.10 per share loss and a profit of $0.14 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters are expecting a loss of $0.04 per share.
BTU also expects to sell between 35 million to 37 million tons during 2014, including between 16 million to 17 million tons of metallurgical coal and 11 million to 12 million tons of export thermal coal.
In other sector news,
(+) RDS-A, (+1.4%) Suspends its Arctic operations this year and declares Q4 interim dividend of $0.47 per share, up 4.4% from same period last year. Adjusted Q4 profit falls 48% from year-ago period to $2.9 billion.
(-) XOM, (-0.8%) Earns $1.91 per share in Q4, $0.01 under than Capital IQ consensus. Revenue climbs 3.3% year over year to $110.86 bln, trailing estimates by $4.08 bln.
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