Energy Stocks Down; Chevron Among Top Laggards

From Market Watch

By Claudia Assis


Energy stocks fell Monday, with Chevron Corp. CVX -1.09%  among the largest decliners as investors lock in gains from the company’s earnings beat in the previous session.

Chevron shares were last down 1.2%. The company reported rising earnings and production on Friday, and shares rose.

Analysts at UBS on Monday downgraded Chevron stock to neutral from buy, saying the San Ramon, Calif. oil company has outperformed peers by more than 10% in the last 12 months.

Analysts at Tudor Pickering Holt said they continue to prefer Chevron over Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM -1.13%  shares “based on better near-term cash flow and production trends, cheaper multiples, stronger balance sheet and more upside.”

Shares of Exxon were off 0.8%. Exxon on Friday reported fourth-quarter results above Wall Street expectations, but its shares came under pressure because of a 6% decline in production volumes over the past year.

Exxon is “an expensive major, with high current distribution of cash, but absent long-term sustainability with current portfolio,” the analysts at Tudor Pickering Holt said. The analysts said Royal Dutch Shell RDS.A -2.37%  is their preference among European oil and gas names.

Shell shares fell 2.4%.

Rounding up U.S. Big Oil stocks, ConocoPhillips COP -1.03%  shares were off 1%.

Peabody Energy Corp. BTU -0.32%  fell 0.6%. CLSA analysts cut the coal miner to sell from underperform.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. APC -0.73%  shares fell 0.5%. The company is expected to report fourth-quarter results Monday after market close. Analysts polled by FactSet expect per-share earnings of 72 cents.

Among the session’s few gainers, refiner Valero Energy Corp. VLO +0.42%  rose 0.8% and Marathon Petroleum Corp. MPC +0.42%  gained 0.4%.

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