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Thursday's Energy Stocks: Williams, ETE shares climb as merger falters


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Thursday's Energy Stocks: Williams, ETE shares climb as merger falters

A crumblingmerger sent Energy Transfer EquityLP shares up 7.13% to $13.07 and Williams Cos. Inc. shares up 6.91% to $20.57on Thursday, May 5.

The existingETE and Williams merger agreement will not be able to close, because law firm Latham& Watkins has concludedthat it cannot deliver a tax opinion required as a condition to closing, ETE executivessaid. The tax opinion qualifies Williams' contributions of assets and liabilitiesto ETE and ETE's issuance of class E units to Energy Transfer Corp. as an exchange.

"Wecan't close this transaction," Kelcy Warren, head of the Energy Transfer family,said during the earnings call. "Absent a substantial restructuring of thistransaction — which Energy Transfer has been very willing, and actually desiring,to do — absent that, we don't have a deal."

shares dropped6.18% in above-average trading to end at $53 after upsizing and pricing a common unit offering.

The SNLMidstream Energy Index rose 1.52% to 106.26.

shares rose 1.64%to $14.86 after reportinglower first-quarter 2016 adjusted EBITDA of $812 million and plans to streamlineits business.

NRG EnergyPresident and CEO Mauricio Gutierrez saidthe independent power producer and retail electric provider is continuing to workthrough plans to simplify its structure and strengthen its balance sheet to positionthe company for an eventual market recovery brought on by anticipated natural gasprice increases.

"Ibelieve the current gas price environment is unsustainable in the medium-to-longrun, and we want to be there with scale when the market recovers," Gutierrezsaid, speaking May 5 during the company's first-quarter earnings conference call."Let me be clear: We're not gas agnostic and don't want to be gas agnosticas we believe current prices are not sustainable."

NRG Energyalso announced the saleof a majority stake in EVgo as part of a broader initiative to streamline its residentialsolar business.

shares fell 3.38%in heavy trading to end at $14.57 after booking $188 million in first-quarter 2016adjusted EBITDA. The company has also appointedChristopher Sotos to be president and CEO. Sotos, who has been on the NRG Yieldboard since its IPO in July 2013, moves from NRG Energy where he served as headof strategy and mergers and acquisitions.

shares dipped 0.19%in brisk volume to finish at $57.40 after appointingPhil Lembo senior vice president, CFO and treasurer.

Sharesof Southern Co. shed 1.44%in strong trading to end at $50.62 and AGLResources Inc. shares climbed 0.03% in light trading to close at $66.23after reaching an agreementwith all parties in the companies' New Jersey merger proceeding.

Gas utilityAtmos Energy Corp. shareslost 0.70% in heavy trading to close at $73.57 after reporting fiscal second-quarter consolidated net income of$141.8 million, or $1.38 per share. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalizedEPS estimate for the fiscal second quarter was $1.40.

AtmosEnergy is not interested in getting involved in the M&A trend enveloping thenatural gas utility industry, given the high price tag on recent acquisitions.

"Wehave been very consistent in emphasizing the fact that we think multiples are extremelyexpensive," CEO Kim Cocklin toldanalysts during Atmos' earnings call May 5. "You never say never, but thereis nothing on the block that we would be interested in paying over and above oreven close to what is going off the board today."

In coalstocks, Alliance Resource PartnersLP advanced 2.46% to $14.98, AllianceHoldings GP LP lifted 2.21% to $17.57 and Hallador Energy Co. gained 0.90% to $4.50, all in thin volume.The SNL Coal Index closed up 0.97% to 49.30.

Junenatural gas futures turned lower in the Thursday, May 5, trading session with lossesaccelerated by the report of a larger-than-anticipated build to natural gas inventoriesfor the week to April 29. The contract reached an intraday low of $2.073/MMBtu andfinished 6.5 cents lowerat $2.076/MMBtu.

The DowJones Industrial Average rose 0.05% to 17,660.71 and the S&P 500 fell 0.02%to 2,050.63.

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