In this series, we’ll discuss the top energy gainers and losers for March. During this period, crude oil fell by ~4.3% while natural gas fell by ~3.4%.
In this part of the series, we’ll discuss the best and worst performers of the upstream and integrated energy sub-sectors. We’ve selected only companies with market capitalizations of over $2 billion and 30-day average daily volumes over a million shares.
Rice Energy (RICE) gained the most among its upstream peers. It gained ~11% in March. Despite a hiccup at the turn of February into March, the company’s shares have been in a clear uptrend since mid-January.
Rice Energy was followed by Laredo Petroleum (LPI), with a ~9.3% gain in March. While the company’s shares have gained ~50% year-to-date, they still lost about a quarter of their value over the last six months. Laredo Petroleum shares still trade closer to their 52-week low than to their 52-week high.
Coming to the top upstream losers in March, Chesapeake Energy (CHK) performed the worst, with a ~15% loss for the month. While the company’s shares seemed to find a bottom in March, they’re down by about a quarter over the last six months and over a fifth year-to-date.
Another big upstream loser in March was Canadian oil and gas company Encana Corporation (ECA). Encana shares lost ~14.6% over the month and ~43% over the last six months.
In comparison, the broad market SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) lost barely 2%. Surprisingly, the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE)—tracking the US energy sector, with large integrated energy companies dominating its holdings—lost a smaller ~1.8% in March.