Natural Gas Prices Put Producers in a Vice

Natural gas (NYSE:UNG) companies such as Southwestern Gas Corp (NYSE:SWX), EXCO Resources (NYSE:EXC) and Quicksilver Resources (NYSE:KWK) find themselves between a rock and a hard place as a dive in natural gas prices pulverizes their profits. Unpleasant options include shutting down wells, raising cash, cutting staff or seeking possible merger partners within the next year.

Deep pocketed producers such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) can ride this out, but their smaller competitors are likely to suffer. Market forecasters expect low prices to persist through 2012, having dropped almost 40% since June. While deeply cut natural gas prices are catastrophic for some, fuel fed chemical and industrial companies will reap the benefits.

Here’s how Natural gas and major stocks affected by Natural gas prices are reacting to the news today:

United States Natural Gas Fund (NYSE:UNG): UNG shares recently traded at $6.47, down $0.07, or 1.07%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $ to $34.32%. Volume today was 1.28B shares versus a 3-month average volume of N/A shares.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK): CHK shares recently traded at $22.36, down $0.37, or 1.63%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $22.00 to $35.95. Volume today was 6,134,822 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 11,958,900 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 11.25, while trailing earnings are $1.99 per share.

Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX): SWX shares recently traded at $42.80, down $0.2, or 0.47%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $32.12 to $43.20. Volume today was 80,594 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 246,238 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 19.41, while trailing earnings are $2.21 per share.

Exelon Corp. (NYSE:EXC): EXC shares recently traded at $43.47, down $0.24, or 0.55%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $39.06 to $45.45. Volume today was 1,463,692 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 5,859,460 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 11.97, while trailing earnings are $3.63 per share.

Quicksilver Resources Inc. (NYSE:KWK): KWK shares recently traded at $6.73, down $0.11, or 1.61%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $6.17 to $15.98. Volume today was 1,258,474 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,787,810 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 3.03, while trailing earnings are $2.22 per share.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM): XOM shares recently traded at $84.84, down $0.43, or 0.5%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $67.03 to $88.23. Volume today was 5,993,371 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 21,584,600 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 10.24, while trailing earnings are $8.28 per share.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX): CVX shares recently traded at $106.60, down $0.87, or 0.81%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $86.68 to $110.01. Volume today was 3,043,623 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 9,515,420 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 7.90, while trailing earnings are $13.50 per share.

Gastar Exploration (AMEX:GST): GST shares recently traded at $3.17,. They have traded in a 52-week range of $2.35 to $5.03. Volume today was 103,918 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 315,475 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-0.06 per share.

SandRidge Energy, Inc. (NYSE:SD): SD shares recently traded at $8.19, down $0.03, or 0.36%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $4.55 to $13.34. Volume today was 5,038,708 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 12,167,600 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 14.26, while trailing earnings are $0.57 per share.

Linn Energy, LLC (NASDAQ:LINE): LINE shares recently traded at $37.94,. They have traded in a 52-week range of $31.03 to $41.13. Volume today was 341,461 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 795,368 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 16.55, while trailing earnings are $2.29 per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lindsey Grossman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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