4 Energy Stock Stories To Drive Investor Chatter

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM): Current price $89.98

Shares were downgraded from Outperform to Neutral at Macquarie Equities Research Wednesday, because it does not believe they have much more room in which to move to the upside, as they are almost at an all-time high, after rising 6 percent over the past month. Analyst Jason Gammel also lowered his price target from $101 to $99, commenting that ”We believe that Exxon will struggle to generate production growth in the near term, and now forecast essentially flat production in both 2013 and 2014, with about 1.5 percent growth in 2015 when liquefied natural gas projects in Papua New Guinea and Australia begin to ramp up.”

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Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX): Current price $116.19

An appeals court in Argentina has sided with a freeze on as much as $19 billion worth of assets held by Chevron in that country as part of an environmental lawsuit brought by Ecuadorean villagers, according to one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers on Wednesday. In 2012, a court in Ecuador mandated that the corporation pay the enormous amount for contamination of watersheds over nearly 30 years, that allegedly sickened indigenous tribes people and farmers in the Ecuadorean Amazon. Thus far, Chevron has refused to make any payments and accuses Ecuadorean courts of fraud.

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Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU): Current price $34.29

Canada’s biggest oil company, Suncor, does not like the proposed higher transport fees by Kinder Morgan Canada for its expanded Trans Mountain pipeline. Oil sands firms are hurrying to exploit new markets beyond the United States exerting more demand upon product carriers, thus enabling higher fees, and Kinder Morgan is in the middle of a $5.4-billion expansion that would boost capacity on the West Coast pipeline from the present 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000. The project is supported by 13 oil sands players, including Suncor, that have signed contracts to ship a collective 708,000 barrels of oil sands output and related products per day from Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia.

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Vanguard Natural Resources (NYSE:VNR): Current price $27.80

On Wednesday, Vanguard said that it has begun a public offering of 8 million common units representing limited liability company interests, pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement on Form S-3 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 18th. Underwriters will be given a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 1.2 million common units. Vanguard will use the net proceeds to repay a portion of its indebtedness outstanding under its senior secured revolving credit facility which was incurred in part to pay for recent purchases.

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