Industry Update: Energy Stocks Volatile as Crude Oil Prices Soar

Energy stocks were mixed overall this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index falling less than 0.1% while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF (XLE) was up 1.4%. The Philadelphia Oil-Service Sector Index posted a 1.8% gain, but the Dow Jones US Utilities Index fell 0.3%.

First-month West Texas Intermediate crude rose $4.31 to $95.90 a barrel, while global benchmark Brent crude also rose $2.96 to $100.89 a barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures were $0.03 lower at $4.44 per million BTU.

In company news, PDC Energy (PDCE) soared nearly 11% after the oil and natural gas producer reported improved fourth-quarter net profit and revenue, including an increase up 207% year-over-year in revenue to $854.6 million, which crushed the analyst average of $652.1 million. . PDC Energy also more than doubled its base dividend to $0.25 per share and announced plans to acquire Great Western Petroleum for about $1.3 billion, including about $500 million of assumed debt.

Chevron (CVX) rose 1.5% after confirming on Monday its purchase of biodiesel producer Renewable Energy Group (REGI) for $2.75 billion in cash, with investors receiving $61.50 for each share of Renewable Energy , up 88.5% from its Feb. 22 closing price before reports of a potential deal surfaced. The deal also includes about $400 million in cash at Renewable Energy, the companies said. Renewable shares were more than 40% higher on Monday afternoon.

BP (BP) fell 5.8% after the energy major said it would likely take a $25 billion hit after selling its 19.75% stake in Russian energy firm Rosneft in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine last week. Rosneft accounts for about half of BP’s global oil and gas reserves and about a third of its overall production, the company said in a statement over the weekend.

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Felix J. Dixon