Sector Update: Energy
Energy stocks are higher in afternoon trade, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index rising 0.8% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 are 0.8% higher as a group. Crude oil for February delivery is up 69 cents at $92.49 per barrel while February natural gas is ahead 10 cents at $4.37 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Basic Energy Services Inc. ( BAS ) shares rose after it trimmed the projected drop in Q4 revenue because activity levels for the the oilfield-services company were better than anticipated during the second half of December.
BAS previously forecast a 7% to 8% decline in Q4 revenue from year-ago levels due to adverse weather throughout much of its operating areas. When the weather improved during the second half of the month, it said several clients tried to catch up from delays they experienced and creating "an uptick" in work for the company as the year concluded.
The company now is expecting a 5% to 6% drop in Q4 revenue, which works out to around $283.9 million to $287 million based on the company's $302.07 million in reported revenue during the three months ended Dec. 31, 2012.
Analysts, on average, have been expecting just a 0.6% decline in Q4 revenue at BAS to around $300.4 million, according to Capital IQ.
Shares were up nearly 5% at $15.70 each in recent trade, erasing much of the stock's decline since a Dec. 27 peak at $15.92 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $11.06 to $17.40 a share.
In other sector news,
(+) WMB, (+0.1%) Corvex Management LP and Soroban Capital Partners increase stake to 46.1 mln shares, or 9.86% of the company's shares, including Corvex's purchase of 12 mln call options expiring in January 2015 between Dec. 17, 2013, to Jan. 13.
(+) LPI, (+4.7%) Prices $450 mln offering of 5.625% senior notes due 2022. The oil and gas company expects to use net proceeds for general working capital.
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