Acadiana Business

Local oil stocks taking a hit

by Leslie Turk

Falling oil prices have an immediate impact oil companies' profitability - and their stock price.

Despite that demand for oil is expected to set a record this year, worries over a weak economy are pushing oil prices below the $80 per gallon mark, and oil companies' share prices are falling right along with it.

When oil prices are high, the impact on companies' bottom lines is immediate, because the cost of production is relatively stable from year to year. That means when prices fall, revenue and profits take a hit too. Consumers, however, get relief at the pump.

PetroQuest Energy and Stone Energy fell 9 and 8 percent Thursday, respectively. PetroQuest went from $6.57 to $5.99 and Stone dropped from $21.37 to $19.70. Shares in Superior Energy Services also lost 9 percent, falling from $32.74 to $29.83. All three stocks of local interest were down again in early morning trading Friday.

AP reported Thursday that it was much the same with big oil companies. Chevron fell $4.40 to $89.87, a drop of 4.6 percent. ConocoPhillips shares lost $2.22 to $62.73, a drop of 3.5 percent. BP fell $1.29, or 3.5 percent, to $35.61. ExxonMobil shares also fell more than 3 percent, dropping $2.33 to $69.64. All four were down again this morning.

Read the AP story here.