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Monday's Energy Stocks: Markets wither as Trump travel ban worries investors

Investors concerns over President Donald Trump's travel ban sent markets down on Monday, Jan. 30, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 0.61% to 19,971.13 and the S&P 500 receded 0.60% to 2,280.90. Energy equities suffered worse as the SNL Energy Index fell 0.98% to 283.87.

Within the energy sector, results were mixed. The SNL Merchant Generator Index dropped 0.75% to 85.47. Shares of Dynegy Inc. rolled down 2.74% in brisk trading to finish at $9.24. Calpine Corp. dipped 1.87% to $11.55 while Pattern Energy Group Inc. lagged 1.62% to $19.44, both on weak volume.

On the other end, NextEra Energy Partners enjoyed a 12.59% gain on more than seven times the average volume after an upgrade from Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Arnold.

Utilities closed the session with gains as the SNL Electric Company Index rose 0.18% to 424.58. Among outperformers, NextEra Energy Inc. earned 0.89% on above-average volume to $122.45, Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. climbed 0.55% in below-average trading to $32.90 and Pinnacle West Capital Corp. descended 0.43% on weak volume to $76.44.

Midstream stocks bled the most, as the SNL Midstream Energy Index lost 2.17% to 123.70. Enterprise Products Partners LP shed 2.20% in light trading to close at $28.45, after reporting $658.8 million in fourth-quarter 2016 net income attributable to limited partners, or 31 cents per unit, compared to $684.8 million, or 34 cents per unit, in the prior-year quarter. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the fourth quarter was 32 cents.

During the company's earnings call, CEO A.J. "Jim" Teague said the U.S. oil and gas industry should experience a rebound in 2017 after enduring two difficult years.

"We believe the news is especially good for U.S. oil and gas," Teague said. "While we expect that 2017 will have its challenges, especially in the first half, we believe the worst part of the cycle is behind us."

Among other midstream players, Kinder Morgan Inc. decreased 1.79% to $21.98, Enbridge Inc. slid down 1.50% to $42.55 and Williams Partners LP gave up 3.37% to $40.74.

In coal stocks, Alliance Resource Partners LP picked up 0.41% in robust trading to $24.45, after reporting fourth-quarter net income of $119.6 million, or $1.30 per unit, compared to $21.5 million, or a loss of 19 cents per unit, in the year-ago period. The partnership attributed the improvement to increased coal sales volumes and significantly lower operating expenses. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate was 81 cents for the 2016 fourth quarter.

Alliance Resource Partners President and CEO Joseph Craft III said on an earnings call that the partnership is hopeful that a Trump administration will work to "reduce the overreaching regulatory burden that has plagued the coal industry for the last eight years."

Shares of Peabody Energy Corp. jumped up 18.64% to $2.10, after the company outlined its financial, corporate and production positions that are designed to better navigate the coal industry's market cycles, ahead of an expected emergence from bankruptcy protection. The company disclosed preliminary estimated results estimating EBITDAR, a measure that includes restructuring items, of between $676 million and $696 million.

The SNL Coal Index, however, stumbled 1.06% to $78.76.

March natural gas futures began their run as the lead contract on the defensive with little in the way of fundamental support. Weather forecasts failed to inspire gains as even with average and below-average weather forecasts for major consuming regions, shallow demand is anticipated and natural gas inventories are expected to be drawn lower at a slowing pace. The contract worked its way to a $3.216/MMBtu low and settled the Monday, Jan. 30, trading session 12.6 cents lower on the session at $3.232/MMBtu.

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