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Monday's Energy Stocks: Maxim Power hits high on FERC settlement; Rice Energy lifts on $2.7B deal for Vantage Energy

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Monday's Energy Stocks: Maxim Power hits high on FERC settlement; Rice Energy lifts on $2.7B deal for Vantage Energy

TheSNL Energy Index fell 0.28% to 286.91, with components mixed at the end of theMonday, Sept. 26, session. The broader markets also finished in red territoryahead of the first U.S. presidential debate at 9 p.m. ET. The Dow Jones IndustrialAverage dropped 0.91% to 18,094.83 and the S&P 500 lost 0.86% to 2,146.10.

Great PlainsEnergy Inc. gained 0.36% to $27.94 and increased 0.39% to$56.70 after shareholders approvedthe companies' $8.6 billion cash-and-stock combination.

"This is a great transaction for all Great PlainsEnergy and Westar stakeholders. Together, we will create a stronger combinedcompany that will be better positioned to serve customers, generate hundreds ofmillions of dollars in operational savings for years to come, meet the region'senergy needs and achieve improved and more stable, long-term financial returns,"Great Plains Energy Chairman and CEO Terry Bassham said.

FirstEnergyCorp. rose 0.26% to $34.58 in light trading. UBS Securities LLCbelieves FirstEnergywill offload its generation business, with analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smithsaying, "While the Street is focused in the near term on prospects to gainapproval from the [Public Utilities Commission of Ohio] on a distributionmodernization rider that would bolster [FirstEnergy's] consolidated creditposition by [approximately $200 million per year], we are increasingly lookingbeyond this likely positive development in coming weeks towards tackling itsremaining portfolio."

Maxim PowerCorp. shares touched a 52-week high of C$3.21 after the companyentered into a settlementagreement that resolves investigations conducted by the FERC Officeof Enforcement. The company neither admitted nor denied any of the violationsalleged by FERC, but agreed to pay $4 million for a civil penalty and $4million in disgorgement.

Maxim shares settled 9.15% higher at C$3.10 in brisk trading.

Inthe midstream sector, RiceEnergy Inc. rose 0.82% in below-average trading to close at $27.14after agreeing to buyVantage Energy LLC and Vantage Energy II LLC for about $2.7 billion, includingassumed debt. Rice Energy plans to drop down midstream assets acquired in thedeal to Rice Midstream PartnersLP for $600 million.

Rice Midstream Partners climbed 0.61% on weak volume tofinish at $21.31.

rose 4.90% in heavy trading to close at $16.05 after offered to acquirethe partnership in an all-cash deal valued at about $848.0 million. The movefollows an announcement by Columbia Pipeline Group parent that it wasreviewing its strategic alternatives for MLP holdings.

TransCanadashares fell 1.44% on light volume to end at $47.11.

advanced0.07% on below-average volume to end at $30.36 after former executives ofOccidental Petroleum Corp.and Baker Hughes Inc.to its board. Williams also said its three directors will not stand forre-election.

Activistinvestor Keith Meister welcomed the appointments, dropping his alternate slateof board nominees. Occidental Petroleum slid 0.40% to $69.32 and BakerHughes dropped 0.16% to $49.16.

The SNL Midstream Energy Index dipped 0.42% to 119.71 andthe SNL MLP Index shed 0.25% to 301.77.

Cloud PeakEnergy Inc. gained 0.22% in average trading to finish at $4.51after S&P Global Ratings downgradedits corporate credit rating to SD from B+. The rating agency cited a "below-par"exchange offer of the company's senior unsecured notes a reason for thedowngrade.

Among other coal stocks, Alliance Holdings GP LP rose 0.63% to $25.41 butForesight Energy LPshed 6.33% to $3.85. The SNL Coal Index increased 2.17% to 68.20.

October natural gas futures were higher on expectations thatthe glut of natural gas will continue to erode as strong demand and slowernatural gas production eliminate storage overhangs through the balance of theinjection season. With the expiration of the October contract at midweek,participants are turning attention to November futures and the anticipationthat the onset of cold winter weather will pull down the total working gassupply. While climbing back above $3/MMBtu to post a $3.018/MMBtu intradayhigh, the contract backed off the high to settle 4.2 cents higher on the session at $2.997/MMBtu.

Market prices and indexvalues are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change.S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global MarketIntelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.