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Thursday's Energy Stocks: Macquarie Infrastructure plunges 41% on dividend cut

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Thursday's Energy Stocks: Macquarie Infrastructure plunges 41% on dividend cut

Wall Street saw gains Thursday, Feb. 22, while merchants and midstream companies closed the day on the negative side of the ledger. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.66% to 24,962.48, while the S&P 500 rose 0.10% to 2,703.96.

Leading losses in the energy sector, Macquarie Infrastructure Corp. shares nosedived to a 52-week low of $37.03 before closing the day 41.2% down at $37.41 on more than 32 times the average volume. The market reaction followed the company's decision to pare down its 2018 dividend.

"[W]e have made the decision to reduce our 2018 dividend in favor of internally funding the repurposing of the assets at International-Matex Tank Terminals and to take advantage of the incentives to invest in growth projects that are a part of recent tax reform," Macquarie Infrastructure CEO Christopher Frost said in a news release. The company expects to distribute a dividend of $1.00 per share, per quarter, in 2018.

SCANA Corp. booked a fourth-quarter net loss of $445 million, or $3.11 per share, stemming from an impairment loss of $908 million, $559 million after taxes, or $3.91 per share, associated with the abandonment of the V.C. Summer nuclear expansion project and a loss of $30 million, or 21 cents per share, resulting from the federal tax reform. SCANA shares rose 10.03% in light trading to finish at $39.93.

CenterPoint Energy Inc. climbed 2.94% on brisk volume to settle at $27.00, after reporting fourth-quarter 2017 adjusted net income of $141 million, or 33 cents per share. The results beat the S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate of 29 cents.

Shares of PPL Corp. declined 1.96% in robust trading to close at $29.52. The company posted 2017 earnings from ongoing operations of $384 million, or 55 cents per share, higher than the S&P Capital IQ normalized consensus estimate of 48 cents. PPL will issue $650 million in additional equity but remains confident in its 5% to 6% earnings growth rate through 2020 following federal tax reform enacted in the U.S.

In the midstream sector, Energy Transfer Partners LP added 4.11% in above-average trading to close at $18.99, after reporting fourth-quarter adjusted EBITDA of $1.94 billion, an increase from $1.49 billion in the prior-year period. The full commercial service date of the partnership's Rover Pipeline LLC project has been delayed to the second quarter.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. shares jumped 21.67% on about four times the average volume to finish at $3.20, after reporting adjusted fourth-quarter 2017 profits of $314 million, or 30 cents per share. The S&P Capital IQ normalized consensus estimate for the quarter was 25 cents per share.

Continental Resources Inc. declined 7.86% on strong volume to finish at $48.44, despite surpassing production and profit expectations. The company posted adjusted net income of $151 million, or 41 cents per share, for the quarter, beating the S&P capital IQ consensus normalized estimate by 9 cents.

ONE Gas Inc. retreated 1.01% in brisk trading to close at $65.54, after reporting net income of $47.1 million, or 89 cents per share, compared with $42.3 million, or 80 cents per share, a year earlier.

After gaining 4.3 cents in the prior session, NYMEX March natural gas futures ended Thursday slightly lower on profit taking and selling in the wake of the latest weekly storage data.

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