Oklahoma stocks had a sizzling first half of the year as energy companies led the way while the major U.S. stock market indexes continued to rise.
More than half of the publicly traded Oklahoma companies tracked by The Oklahoman posted double-digit gains in the first six months of 2014. Just six of the 41 companies had declines in that period.
Leading the way was Panhandle Oil and Gas Inc., up 68 percent this year. It was followed by Williams Co. Inc., up 51 percent, and RoseRock Midstream LP, up 41 percent.
Oklahoma City’s Continental Resources Inc., which traded at $112 per share to begin the year, rose to more than $158 by the close of the second quarter Monday. That was enough for an increase of 40 percent. Tulsa’s Helmerich & Payne Inc. is up 38 percent this year.
A couple of trusts related to SandRidge Energy Inc. for investments in the Mississippian formation had the largest declines in the first half of 2014, but they are designed to lose value as they pay out dividends to investors. Outside of those trusts, shares in Tulsa-based Apco Oil & Gas International Inc. fell 7 percent in the first half of the year. Orchids Paper Products Co. of Pryor fell by 2 percent.
The Dow Jones ended the first half of the year up 1.5 percent to 16,826.6. The technology-heavy Nasdaq rose 5.5 percent to 4,408.18, while the broader S&P 500 rose 6 percent to 1,960.23.
Jake Dollarhide, CEO of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, said stocks got off to a rocky start in 2014 after a blistering performance in 2013.
“We almost had a full correction in the first quarter, but then the market kept going up,” Dollarhide said.
Domestic stock market indexes brushed aside global concerns from Ukraine, Iraq and Syria, as well as a slowdown in China. At home, successive lower revisions to gross domestic product numbers from the first quarter haven’t dampened investors’ enthusiasm, Dollarhide said.
“A lot of people gave the economy a free pass in the first quarter because of the bad winter weather,” Dollarhide said. “There’s been an unbelievable sense of confidence despite the problems that come out of (Washington) D.C.”
Dollarhide said he expected investors to pay more attention to Washington politics as the November midterms draw closer. He said some sectors have been in a “Jekyll and Hyde” mode, with those posting tepid performances last year turning the corner in 2014. Energy stocks have been among the strongest performers.
“Some of these smaller producers, including those in Oklahoma, have made a big jump,” Dollarhide said. “As the price of natural gas has rebounded, so have some of the companies that are heavy into natural gas. The big oil majors are doing well as well.”
Several Oklahoma companies made their stock-market debut in the first half of 2014, including payroll technology services company Paycom Software Inc. and Enable Midstream Partners LP, formed from OGE Corp.’s Enogex division and the pipeline assets of CenterPoint Energy Inc.
Paycom had a rocky initial public offering in April and has fallen by about 9 percent since then. Meanwhile, Enable is up almost 14 percent since it began trading in April.
Also joining the ranks of publicly traded companies was One Gas Inc., the regulated natural gas utilities that used to be part of Tulsa’s ONEOK Inc. One Gas serves 2.1 million customers of Oklahoma Natural Gas, Texas Gas Service and Kansas Gas Service. One Gas shares are up 14 percent since their debut in February.