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Thursday's Energy Stocks: Utilities outpace sector, broader markets close mixed

Broader markets closed mixed on Thursday, June 14, while utilities outpaced other energy sector components. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.10% to end the day at 25,175.31, while S&P 500 gained 0.25% to conclude at 2,782.49.

TransAlta Renewables Inc. shares slumped 5.77% on more than seven times average volume to finish at C$12.42 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company has launched a bought-deal offering of 11,860,000 common shares at C$12.65 apiece for gross proceeds of approximately C$150 million. TransAlta Renewables will use net proceeds to partially repay drawn amounts under its credit facility.

PG&E Corp. shares added 1.30% in brisk trading to close at $39.89, after S&P Global Ratings downgraded the issuer credit ratings of the company and its subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to BBB from BBB+. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has determined that the utility company's equipment was involved with 16 of the Northern California wildfires in late 2017.

Eversource Energy rose 1.05% on strong volume to end at $53.99, after reiterating its offer to acquire all outstanding Connecticut Water Service Inc. shares for $63.50 per share in cash or Eversource shares. Connecticut Water has already rebuffed Eversource's acquisition offer and has a pending merger of equals deal with SJW Group, headquartered in San Jose, Calif.

Connecticut Water ticked up 1.56% on light volume to finish at $65.60, and SJW Group climbed 1.22% on about average volume to settle at $67.00.

AES Corp. closed the sale of its 17% stake in Brazilian power distribution company Eletropaulo Metropolitana Eletricidade de São Paulo SA, which marks its exit from the distribution business in Brazil. Shares of AES advanced 0.38% on slightly above-average volume to $13.18.

FuelCell Energy Inc. agreed to create an at-the-market equity program to sell, from time to time, up to $50 million of its common stock through agents. FuelCell shares retreated 3.28% in robust trading to finish at $1.77.

Duke Energy Corp. shares climbed 1.67% on heavy volume to close at $73.46. The company agreed to pay a $3.5 million civil penalty to settle charges that it submitted a filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission containing "erroneous and intentionally misleading data" related to its 2012 acquisition of Progress Energy Inc.

PPL Corp. was up 3.64% on brisk volume to settle at $27.07. Its PPL Electric Utilities Corp. subsidiary issued $400 million of 4.15% first mortgage bonds due 2048.

Among oil and gas companies, Concho Resources Inc. declined 3.31% to close at $127.25, Kinder Morgan Inc. moved up 1.25% to end at $16.95, and Williams Cos. Inc. rose 2.22% to finish at $27.21.

In the coal sector, Peabody Energy Corp. climbed 3.51% to close at $47.46, and Ramaco Resources Inc. added 2.83% to conclude $8.36. A Ramaco subsidiary secured an additional $7 million under its existing short-term credit facility with Maxus Capital Group LLC, with certain mining equipment serving as collateral. The proceeds from the loan will be used to pay down borrowings under the facility and for normal working capital requirements.

The S&P 500 Utilities Sector earned 1.17% to 249.52, while the S&P 500 Energy Sector closed 0.21% lower to 559.30.

Market prices and index values are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change. This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings. The original S&P Global Ratings documents referred to in this news brief can be found here.