Energy Stocks Climb Higher

Energy stocks were sharply higher Tuesday, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing over 1.0% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 also were up 1.0% as a group. Crude oil for April delivery was up 84 cents at $54.62 per barrel while March natural gas futures were 24 cents lower at $2.60 per 1 million BTU.

In company news, Laredo Petroleum (LPI) rose Tuesday after analysts at Piper Jaffray today raised their investment call for the oil and natural gas producer to Overweight from Neutral.

The upgrade follows Laredo last week reporting better-than-expected Q4 financial results and reaffirming its FY17 outlook. Excluding one-time items, the company earned $0.16 per share, topping the year-ago quarter by $0.10 per share and beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.01 per share. Revenue jumped over 49% compared with the same quarter last year to $184.3 million, also exceeding the Street view expecting $157.4 million Street view.

By Stephen Holmes