Engery Sector Update for 01/23/2015: RICE,SMLP,EMES
Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks turned narrowly lower in late Friday trade, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index slipping about 0.2% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down about 0.3% as a group. Crude oil for March delivery settled 72 cents lower at $45.59 per barrel while front-month natural gas futures rose 15 cents at $2.99 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Rice Energy Inc ( RICE ) was finishing Friday trading with a strong gain after Imperial Capital initiated analyst coverage of the natural gas producer with an Outperform rating and $27.00 price target.
Describing RICE as "a small but rapidly growing pure-play" natural gas producer, the Imperial Capital analysts said the company is well positioned to weather today's "challenging" price environment, noting the break-even level for about 80% of its wells is under $2.60 per 1 million cubic feet.
RICE shares were up more than 6% at $18.18 each in late trade, easing slightly from its session high at $18.30 a share. The stock has traded within a 52-week range of $16.04 to $34.34 a share, dropping more than 16% over the past 12 months prior to today's rise.
In other sector news,
(+) SMLP, Announces 3.7% increase in its Q4 cash distribution over the prior quarter to $0.56 per unit, payable Feb. 13 to unitholders of record on Feb. 6.
(-) EMES, Increases Q4 distribution to $1.41 per unit, a $0.03 boost over the previous quarter. Also raises its outlook for 2015 distributions by $0.75 to $6.00 per unit.
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