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Friday's Energy Stocks: PPL surges 6.07% after UK election

U.S. stocks reached new highs but closed little changed Friday, Dec. 13, after the U.S. and China announced a phase-one deal to slow their trade war. The agreement includes plans to cancel scheduled U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods slated to take effect in two days.

President Donald Trump tweeted that his administration will not impose 15% tariffs on $160 billion of Chinese goods slated to go into effect Dec. 15 while adding that already-imposed tariffs will remain in place.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.01% to 28,135.38, and the S&P 500 settled 0.01% higher to 3,168.80.

Electric and diversified utilities capped the week with gains, led by PPL Corp., a U.S.-headquartered company with a U.K. subsidiary, which advanced 6.07% in about 3x average volume to close at $35.64.

PPL's gains come in the wake of British voters delivering a landslide victory to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's ruling Conservative Party, which effectively means plans to renationalize the U.K. utility industry went up in smoke.

Edison International shares climbed 1.74% in light trading to $72.69 after the company declared a 4.08% increase in its quarterly common stock dividend to 63.75 cents per share, or $2.55 per share on an annualized basis.

Also recording share price increases, CenterPoint Energy Inc. gained 4.51% on more than 2x average volume to close at $25.94, Xcel Energy Inc. edged up 1.47% on light volume to $62.26, and NextEra Energy Inc. moved 1.30% higher on low volume to $236.95.

Meanwhile, PG&E Corp. was down 4.10% on heavy volume to end the week at $11.24 after filing an updated plan of reorganization that combines a recent $13.5 billion settlement with wildfire victims and the previous $11 billion and $1 billion deals with insurance companies and public entities.

The S&P 500 Utilities Sector was up 0.84% to 319.58.

Oil and gas companies, as well as master limited partnership, ended lower as the S&P 500 Energy Sector slid 0.91% to 441.35 and the Alerian MLP Index retreated 1.14% to 208.90.

Plains GP Holdings LP filed to sell up to $938.9 million of its class A shares from time to time in one or more offerings. The proceeds will be used for general partnership purposes, including investment in Plains All American Pipeline LP equity.

Plains GP shed 2.80% on light volume to close at $17.36, and Plains All American receded 2.10% in below-average trading to $17.28.

W&T Offshore Inc. closed up 2.39% in light trading at $4.72 after acquiring a 75% stake and operatorship of the Magnolia field in the central region of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico from ConocoPhillips Co. for $20.0 million. ConocoPhillips saw a 0.18% increase on light volume to finish the week at $62.70.

SandRidge Energy Inc.'s stock price rose 3.29% on strong volume to close at $4.08 after the company announced it will evaluate its 2020 capital expenditure program to maximize cash flow, and its board and management will undertake a comprehensive review of the company to improve operational efficiencies and cost controls.

Paul McKinney resigned as president and CEO of SandRidge and from the company's board. COO John Suter agreed to be interim president and CEO.

In other notable share price movements in the sector, Apache Corp. slipped 3.13% to $21.35, Noble Energy Inc. rolled back 2.44% to $22.38, and Marathon Oil Corp. saw a 2.38% decline to end the week at $12.72, all on light volume.

Market prices and index values are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change.