Petro sector boosted by rising oil price

Published 2:02 pm Friday, October 31, 2008

A big jump in oil prices gave a long-awaited boost to most Louisiana and Missisippi companies in the petroleum sector as Wall Street wavered back and forth Wednesday before the Dow Jones industrials closed down about 74 points.

McMoRan Exploration Co., on a percentage basis, got the biggest jump among regional stocks, rising 26.3 percent, or $2.47, to close at $11.85.

Light sweet crude for December delivery settled up $5.18 at $67.50 on the New York Mercantile Exchange after a drop was reported in crude and gasoline inventories.

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Elsewhere in the petroleum sector, Stone Energy Corp. rose 86 cents, or 4.9 percent, to $26.95. Callon Petroleum Co. was up 57 cents, or 7.1 percent, at $8.60. Energy Partners Ltd. gained 10 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $3.91, and PetroQuest Energy Inc. jumped 61 cents, or 7.7 percent, to $8.53.

In offshore fabrication, Global Industries Ltd. rose 34 cents, or 9.6 percent, to $3.87. But Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. dropped 11 cents, or 0.6 percent, to close at $17.53.

In the petroleum support sector, Superior Energy Services Inc. gained $1.31, or 7.8 percent, to close $18.15.

In offshore transportation, Hornbeck Offshore Inc. gained $1.69, or 8.9 percent, to $20.72, while Tidewater Inc. rose $1.58, or 4 percent, to $40.71.

In the utility sector, Energy Corp. fell $1.29, or 1.6 percent, to $79.72, while Cleco Corp. rose 13 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $22.39.

Construction-engineering company The Shaw Group Inc. was up 86 cents, or 6 percent, to close at $15.24.

Chemical maker Albemarle Corp. rose $1.21, or 5.9 percent, to $21.90.

Telecommunications provider CenturyTel Inc. fell $2.49, or 9 percent, to $25.32.

In the financial sector, Hancock Holding Co. dropped $1.37, or 3.3 percent, to $40.57. BancorpSouth Inc. fell 54 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $22.11. Iberibank Corp. rose $1.16, or 2.6 percent, to $46.31. Whitney Holding Corp. was up 2 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $17.82. MidSouth Bancorp Inc. rose 22 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close $16.22.

The medical sector had a strong day with Amedisys Inc. jumping $4.43, or 9.3 percent, to $51.93. LHC Group Inc. rose 47 cents, or 1.9 percent, to close at $24.99.

Lamar Advertising Co., a billboard provider, rose $2.14, or 16 percent, to $15.49.

Egg producer Cal-Maine Foods Inc. leaped $3.43, or 14.2 percent, to close at $27.51. Poultry producer Sanderson Farms Inc. gained 63 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $28.12.

Swimming pool supplier Pool Corp. fell 15 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $16.10.

Funeral provider Stewart Enterprises Inc. dropped 1 cent, or 0.2 percent, to close at $16.10.