Energy stocks backed away from their prior intra-day highs this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index (^NYE) climbing 0.1% while the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF (XLE) was up 0.9%. The Philadelphia Oil-Service Sector index (^OSX) was posting a 0.8% gain and the Dow Jones US Utilities Index (^DJUSUT) also was ahead 1.0% in late trade.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled $0.06 lower at $86.90 per barrel, after the Energy Information Administration Thursday said US commercial inventories grew by 515,000 barrels during the seven days ended Jan. 14 compared with market expectations for a decline of 1.75 million barrels last week. Global benchmark Brent crude also was down $0.31 to $88.13 per barrel while Henry Hub natural gas futures dropped $0.22 to $3.81 per 1 million BTU.
In company news, EOG Resources (EOG) increased 0.4% after KeyBanc raised its price target for the energy producer by $2 to $110 a share and also reiterated its overweight rating for the company's stock.
Kinder Morgan (KMI) rose 1.5% after the energy infrastructure company overnight reported non-GAAP Q4 net income of $0.27 per share, unchanged from the final three months of 2020 but still beating the Capital IQ consensus call by $0.01 per share. Revenue increased to $4.43 billion, also exceeding the $3.61 billion Street view.
Baker Hughes (BKR) climbed 3% after the oilfield services company Thursday reported GAAP earnings of $0.32 per share for its Q4 ended Dec. 31, down from a $0.91 per share profit during the same quarter in 2020 but topping the Capital IQ consensus expecting $0.29 per share. Revenue grew just 0.4% over year-ago levels to $5.52 billion but also edged past the $5.50 billion analyst mean.
Among decliners, Chesapeake Energy (CHK) slid 3% after Reuters reported the oil and natural gas producer is in advanced discussions to buy privately held natural gas producer Chief Oil & Gas, with people close to the matter saying the deal could be valued at around $2.4 billion, including debt. The acquisition could be announced yet this week, they said, although the sources also warned the talks could still fall apart.