Regional energy stocks down, banks up

Published 11:16 pm Saturday, October 11, 2008

Regional financial stocks jumped Friday and those tied to energy mostly slid as Wall Street closed an abysmal week with a 128-point loss in the Dow Jones industrials.

With oil and gasoline prices on a slide, and consumers cutting back on power use, petroleum-related companies and electricity generators in Louisiana and Mississippi saw often-sharp decreases.

The Dow fell 1.49 percent to 8,451.49. Light sweet crude for November delivery dropped $8.63 a barrel to close at $77.99 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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The regional financial sector closed the week on the upside.

Hancock Holding Co. rose $4.75, or 10.9 percent, to $48.16. BancorpSouth Inc. rose $2.28, or 10.9 percent, to $23.28. Whitney Holding Corp. jumped $1.48, or 8.5 percent, to $18.99. MidSouth Bancorp Inc. rose $3.10, or 18.3 percent, to close at $20.

Downside dominated any company tied to energy, starting with petroleum producers.

Stone Energy Corp. lost 75 cents, or 2.8 percent, and closed at $26. PetroQuest Energy Inc. fell 31 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $7.15. McMoRan Exploration Co. shed $1.39, or 10.9 percent, to $10.80. Energy Partners Ltd. fell 9 cents, or 1.8 percent, to close at $4.81.

Callon Petroleum Co. barely broke Friday’s mold, finishing up 14 cents, or 1.3 percent, at $10.84.

In the offshore petroleum service sector, Tidewater Inc. fell $3.65, or 9.1 percent, and closed at $36.70. Hornbeck Offshore Inc., dipped $1.44, or 5.6 percent, to $24.44.

Power providers Entergy Corp. and Cleco Corp. both dropped. Entergy was down $5.16, or 7 percent, at $68.25. Cleco fell 62 cents, or 3 percent, to close at $20.39.

Construction-engineering The Shaw Group Inc. rose $1.93, or 11.7 percent, to close at $18.50.

Chemical maker Albemarle Corp. dropped 89 cents, or 3.8 percent, and closed at $22.51.

Telecommunications provider CenturyInc. fell $1.48, or 5.7 percent, to $30.28.

Lamar Advertising Co., an outdoor advertising provider, dropped $3.32, or 12.9 percent, and closed at $22.48.

In the medical sector, LHC Group Inc. was up 21 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $25.88. Amedisys Inc. rose $1.27, or 2.9 percent, to close at $44.78.

Poultry producer Sanderson Farms Inc. rose $1.23, or 3.7 percent, to $34.23. Egg producer Cal-Maine Foods Inc. was down $1.69, or 6.5 percent, and closed at $24.32

Funeral provider Stewart Enterprises Inc. gained 22 cents, or 4.3 percent, to a close of $5.45.