Oil service and natural gas shares battled back from recent weakness to shine amid an overall surge in the sector Wednesday as buyers rushed into energy stocks on strong earnings reports.
The September crude oil contract eased 27 cents to close at $72.15 a barrel, reversing earlier gains.
The Philadelphia Oil Service Index ($OSX :0.00, 0.00, 0.0% ) almost 2%%. BJ Services (BJS :26.48, +1.32, +5.2% ) led the way with a rise of 5.3% to $26.48. The Amex Oil Index (XOI : 1,350.58, +19.37, +1.5% ) advanced 1.5%, the Amex Natural Gas Index (XNG : 500.25, +6.76, +1.4% ) advanced 1.4%. The Williams Companies (WMB :33.00, +1.03, +3.2% ) rose 3.2% to close at $33.
Frontier Oil (FTO : 36.01, +0.72, +2.0% ) rallied 2% to $36.01 after the company posted its most profitable quarter in company history. The Houston firm weighed in with earnings of $2.23 a share, ahead of the estimate of $1.64 a share in a survey of analysts by Thomson Financial.
Petrohawk Energy (HK :15.88, +0.72, +4.7% ) rose 4.8% to $15.88 on its profit report. ValueEngine issued a strong buy recommendation for Valero Energy Corp. (VLO :67.29, +3.27, +5.1% ) , based on its conclusion that the company "has the probability to outperform average market performance for the next year." Valero offers attractive company size, price-to-earnings ratio and risk, ValueEngine said. Shares rallied 5.1% to close at $67.29.
by Steve Gelsi
by Steve Gelsi