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Friday's Energy Stocks: Dividend hike, earnings beat drive PGE shares hire; merchants tumble

Despite loweringits 2016 EPS guidance, PortlandGeneral Electric Co. lifted 2.24% on brisk volume to finish at$39.72 on Friday, April 29, after posting first-quarter EPS of 68 cents, wellahead of analyst estimates.

The company on April 28 also announced a 6.7% . PGE lowered its2016 earnings view, however, given unfavorable weather and incremental costs neededto complete the CartyGenerating Station. PGE is now targeting EPS of $2.05 to $2.20,down from a prior range of $2.20 to $2.35.

Pinnacle WestCapital Corp. shares climbed 1.49% in heavy trading to close theday at $72.65. The company postedlower first-quarter 2016 financial results, missing the S&P Global MarketIntelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate by 7 cents. The company'sfirst-quarter 2016 net income attributable to common shareholders was $4.5million, or 4 cents per share, versus $16.1 million, or 14 cents per share, inthe first quarter of 2015.Still, the company reiterated its ongoing consolidated earnings guidance of$3.90 per share to $4.10 per share.

PNM ResourcesInc. rose 1.02% to end the session at $31.68 on strong volume,after the company maintainedits full-year 2016 earnings guidance despite seeing a drop in first-quarterongoing net earnings to $10.8 million, or 13 cents per share, from $16.5million, or 21 cents per share, in the comparable quarter of 2015. The company'sfull-year ongoing EPS guidance stands at $1.55 to $1.76.

PPL Corp.rose 0.99% to settle at $37.64, after S&P Capital IQ the company's shares to "buy"from "hold" and increased the 12-month target share price to $40 from$37.

S&P Capital IQ also upgraded NextEraEnergy Inc. to "hold" from "sell" and raisedits 12-month price target on the company by $12 to $114 per share. The company'sshares advanced 0.95% to $117.58.

EmpireDistrict Electric Co. saw a 0.27% rise to $33.67, after the companyexecutives said that the company is focusedon business as usual as the Joplin, Mo.-headquartered utility moves forward inits proposed acquisition by AlgonquinPower & Utilities Corp. The administrative law judge presidingover the merger hearings in Oklahoma has recommended approval of the deal, withan order expected within 60 days.

Algonquin Power shares earned 0.27% to C$10.96.

The SNL Electric Company Index went up 0.70% to 414.49. The10-year Treasury yield dipped to 1.83% from 1.84%.

Among merchant generators, shares closed thesession 1.48% higher at $15.78, after the company a year-over-year increase inboth adjusted EBITDA and adjusted free cash flow, for the first quarter of 2016.

The SNL Merchant Generator Index closed down 2.07% to 98.70as Covanta Holding Corp.finished 3.50% lower at $16.26. AbengoaYield Plc fell 3.22% to $18.03, TransAlta Corp. retreated 2.53% to C$6.56 and rolleddown 2.23% to $21.00 in weak trading.

In midstream energy, shares of climbed8.19% to $41.10, after the private partnership behind Tallgrass Energy Partnersoffered it a $440million stake in Rockies ExpressPipeline LLC that it agreed to purchase from .

June natural gas futuressurged late in the trading session, settling up 4.8% amid reports of anexplosion on Texas Eastern Transmission LP's 36-inch Texas Eastern pipeline inwestern Pennsylvania. First pressured by a healthy natural gas supply andmilder weather, the news of the blast pushed the contract to a $2.195/MMBtuhigh and a settle at $2.178/MMBtu, 10 cents higher on the day.

From coal space, shares of shed 11.60% onheavy volume to $2.21, after the company reported it will move away from the controversialpractice of self-bonding its coal mining reclamation liabilities. Cloud PeakPresident and CEO Colin Marshall said on an earnings call that the company isin discussion with surety providers to increase third-party bonding.

HalladorEnergy Co. tumbled 5.85% to $4.67, and fell4.40% to $15.65. The SNL Coal Index ended 2.42% lower to 50.82.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.32% to17,773.64 and the S&P 500 dropped 0.51% to 2,065.30.

Stocks to watch

The following companies are scheduled to reportfirst-quarter results after market hours May 2:

* ONE Gas Inc.shares rose 0.24% on light volume to close at $58.47.

* EdisonInternational shares gained 0.86% to $70.71 in average trading.

* VanguardNatural Resources LLC shares dipped 0.57% to $1.74 in on weakvolume.

Market prices andindex values are current as of the time of publication and are subject tochange.

S&P Capital IQ andS&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.