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EGY

Sector Update: Energy

Energy stocks were lower Thursday, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index sinking about 0.5% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down more than 0.9% as a group. Crude oil for June delivery was down 56 cents at $100.21 per barrel while June natural gas was down 15 cents at $4.59 per 1 million BTU.

In company news, VAALCO Energy ( EGY ) was down more than 18% Thursday afternoon, posting one of the steepest declines for shares of energy companies in the S&P 500, after reporting a big drop in quarterly revenue during the three months ended March 31 and swinging to a surprise net loss for the period.

The exploration and production company recorded a $7.0 million net loss during Q1, or $0.12 per share, reversing a $7.2 million profit during the first three months of 2013 and trailing the Capital IQ consensus looking for a $0.15 per share quarterly profit.

Revenue slid 57% year over year to $28.1 million. There were no analyst estimates for Q1 revenue available for comparison.

The company said its Q1 results were hurt by the dry hole it drilled in the Etame Marin prospect off the Gabon coast, first disclosed in late February. EGY was the operator and 28% owner of the Dimba well, with Sinopec ( SHI ), Sasol ( SSL ), Tullow (TLW.L), Sojitz and PetroEnergy sharing the remaining 72% stake.

EGY shares were off 18.4% at $7.20 each this afternoon, earlier sliding to a session low of $6.75 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $5.03 to $9.32 a share, giving up about 3.25% in value over the past year.

In other sector news,

(+) QEP, (+1.9%) Agrees to sell it 40% ownership stake in Green River Processing to its wholly-owned subsidiary, QEP Midstream Partners, ( QEPM ) for $230 mln in cash.

(-) GPOR, (-17.9%) Q1 adjusted earnings of $0.20 per share miss Wall Street expectations by $0.01 per share. Revenue rises 114.5% year over year to $118 mln, lagging consensus opinion by $5.33 mln.

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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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