Energy stocks are trimming earlier declines, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index down about 0.5% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 are down 0.3% as a group. Crude oil for March delivery is 46 down cents at $96.96 per barrel while March natural gas is up 13 cents to $5.07 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Denbury Resources Inc. ( DNR ) was lower Wednesday although the company focused on enhanced oil recovery using carbon dioxide late Tuesday announced its first-ever dividend along with plans to double the payout - or more - during 2015.
The $0.625 per share dividend will be paid March 25 to shareholders of record on Feb. 25. Looking forward, the company said it expects increasing its annual dividend to $0.50 to $0.60 per share in 2015, based on its current finances and commodity prices.
DNR shares were off about 1% at $16.02 apiece, down 14 cents, in recent trade after twice testing intra-day lows under $15.90 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $15.62 to $19.65 a share.
In other sector news,
(+) WNR, (+2.7%) Increases quarterly dividend by 18.1% to $0.26 per share, payable Feb. 27 to shareholders of record on Feb. 12. The company also added another $200 mln for its stock buyback program, with $265 mln now available for share repurchases.
(-) RES, (-6.9%) Q4 EPS of $0.17 misses analyst consensus by $0.05 per share. Revenue climbs 3.6% year over year to $487 mln, beating Street view by around $5.39 mln. Also boosts quarterly dividend by 5% to $0.10 per share.
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