Energy stocks were higher Tuesday, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing 0.2% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were up 0.4% as a group. Crude oil for June delivery was up 75 cents at $101.34 per barrel while June natural gas was down 5 cents at $4.38 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, Nabors Industries ( NBR ) shares slid nearly 1% Tuesday following a downgrade of the oilfield-services company to Market Perform from Outperform at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
But the research shop also raised its price target for the stock by $1 to $25 a share, saying NBR shares are moving past value territory and will require positive material revisions in its performance outlook to justify additional price gains.
The firm also believes investor optimism for North American energy service-sector stocks has likely peaked.
NBR shares were down 0.7% at $25.58 each in recent trade, dropping as low as $25.33 a share during the session. The stock has a 52-week range of $14.50 to $26.41 a share, climbing more than 63% over the past 12 months.
In other sector news,
(+) ECA, (+1.3%) Reverses year-ago $431 mln net loss, posting $116 mln Q1 profit. Excluding items, earns $0.70 per share, up from $0.24 in year-ago period and beating analyst consensus by $0.18. Net sales rise 78% to $1.9 mln, matching Street view.
(-) PVA, (-5.8%) Q1 Adjusted net loss of $0.12 per share was $0.05 wider than estimates. Revenue rises 128.2% year over year to $189.9 mln, crushing Capital IQ consensus by $54.79 mln.
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