eNergy STOCKS: Energy stocks traded mixed Wednesday as Wall Street kept an eye on earnings updates from Transocean, Noble Energy and Devon Energy

Energy stocks mixed on inventory data, earnings

Crude for September delivery fell 46 cents at $77.75. Earlier, the benchmark contract climbed as high as $78.70 a barrel into uncharted territory after the latest inventory data showed crude supplies fell for a fourth week in a row.

Motor gasoline supplies climbed 600,000 barrels to 204.7 million. Refinery utilization rose to 93.6% of capacity from 91.7% a week ago.

The Amex Oil Index (XOI : 1,335.76, -26.75, -2.0% ) traded unchanged at 1,362. The Amex Natural Gas Index (XNG : 488.86, -0.47, -0.1% ) rose 1.4%. The Philadelphia Oil Service Index ($OSX : 262.84, -8.46, -3.1% ) dropped 0.4%.

Transocean (RIG :104.80, -2.65, -2.5% ) rose 65 cents to $108.15 after it said net income doubled to $549 million, or $1.84 a share, ahead of the Wall Street consensus estimate of $1.72 a share in a survey of analysts by Thomson Financial. Transocean said it now expects a tax rate of 15% for the rest of 2007, up from its previous view of 14%.

Devon Energy (DVN : 77.16, +2.55, +3.4% ) rallied 5.8% to $78.94 after it said net income rose 5% on a better-than-expected boost in production. BMO Capital Markets said Devon Energy turned in a "great quarter" with earnings of $1.89 a share, ahead of their estimate of $1.46 a share.

Excluding Egyptian assets held for sale, earnings were $1.71 a share. Volumes were 56.2 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, ahead of BMO's estimate of 52.6 million. BMO reiterated its market perform rating on the stock Noble Energy (NBL :62.45, +1.31, +2.1% ) rose 4% to $63.55 after the company said it swung to a gain of $209 million from a loss of $31 million.

Via: MarketWatch
by Steve Gelsi