Energy infrastructure and service companies were the big winners in the first quarter among Oklahoma stocks, as the broader stock indexes were flat after a sizzling end to 2013.
Matrix Service Co. rose 38 percent in the first three months of the year, ending the quarter at $33.78. It was followed by Panhandle Oil and Gas Inc., whose stock gained almost 31 percent, and Helmerich & Payne Inc., which grew 28 percent. Unit Corp. ended the quarter at $65.38, up 27 percent.
“The service companies are really hitting their stride right now, and that’s due to the commodity prices and the demand that has been strong in those areas,” said Greg Womack, of Edmond-based Womack Investment Advisers Inc.
The Oklahoman’s review of 41 Oklahoma stocks found three-fourths gaining ground in the first quarter, with 13 companies posting gains of more than 10 percent.
Jake Dollarhide, CEO of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, said Matrix was helped by an upgrade from Wall Street analysts and strong quarterly results. Matrix was the second-best performing Oklahoma stock in 2013.
“They are hitting on all cylinders,” Dollarhide said. “They’ve got a diversified portfolio of projects not just in oil and gas but in industrials, petrochemical and the electric power markets.”
Contract driller Helmerich & Payne continues to benefit from the reputation of its flagship product, the FlexRig, Dollarhide said. Its stock price has almost doubled since the end of 2012 and ended the first quarter at $107.56. Meanwhile, Unit has increased its production of lucrative natural gas liquids and oil and is in many of the country’s most popular drilling plays, he said.
Eleven stocks declined in the quarter, led by two trusts related to Oklahoma City’s SandRidge Energy Inc. The company’s two Mississippian trusts declined by more than 17 percent. A sister trust, SandRidge Permian Trust, eked out a gain of 1 percent. However, the trusts are designed to decline in value each time they pay a dividend.
Aaon Inc., a Tulsa maker of heating and air conditioning equipment, fell by 13 percent, while shares of WPX Energy Inc. lost 12 percent in the first quarter. Oklahoma City’s LSB Industries Inc. fell by 7 percent.
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Oklahoma stocks, first quarter 2014
•Matrix Service Co., up 38 percent
•Panhandle Oil and Gas Inc., up 31 percent
•Helmerich & Payne Inc., up 28 percent
•Unit Corp., up 27 percent
•Compressco Partners LP, up 25 percent
•SandRidge Mississippian Trust, down 19 percent
•SandRidge Mississippian Trust II, down 17 percent
•Aaon Inc., down 13 percent
•WPX Energy Inc., down 12 percent
•LSB Industries Inc., down 7 percent