The vast majority of Oklahoma stocks ended the third quarter with higher prices than when the three-month period began, and a handful grabbed substantial gains.
Like the broader market, stocks of most state-based companies locked in gains despite a choppy end to the quarter, which closed Friday. Among Oklahoma stocks, more than five rose in price for each one that declined in the period.
All of the major indexes — the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq — were up more than 4 percent in the July through September period. The Dow, up about 10 percent in 2012, has regained levels it achieved just before the economic and market collapses of 2008.
“As bad the start of the year was, the third quarter made up for it,” Tulsa money manager Jake Dollarhide said Friday. “There was a lot less noise out of Europe, a lot less negative sentiment about the U.S. economy. With less noise, the profits and the big opportunities, especially for our local companies, got heard. Investors were able to digest some of the potential.”
Despite losses over the past few trading days, “we had a heck of a good quarter and month for stocks, beyond what anyone thought,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group.
The biggest local gainer of the quarter was Gulfport Energy Corp., which rose more than 50 percent. The stock closed Friday at $31.26, a $10.63 increase over the price at the end of the second quarter.
As many Oklahoma energy companies seek to reduce their production of low-priced natural gas in favor of oil and natural gas liquids, Gulfport has been oil- and liquids heavy for some time.
In an investor presentation earlier this month, Gulfport's initial point of information was that 94 percent of its production last year was oil and natural gas liquids.
“Gulfport Energy differentiates themselves from better-known energy stocks like Devon and Williams because oil's been the play,” said Dollarhide, CEO of Longbow Asset Management. “They were in the sweet spot with the heavy concentration of oil. They're in the right footprint.”
After Gulfport issued a promising production report from the Utica Shale a few weeks ago, Global Hunter Securities upgraded the shares to “buy” from “accumulate” and raised its target price to $43 from $30. The stock price jumped 10 percent in a single day after that report.
However, the reasons aren't quite as clear for the strong quarterly performance of shares of LSB Industries Inc., an Oklahoma City company that produces chemicals and climate control devices. CEO Jack Golsen concedes traders probably weren't buying the stock based on fundamentals.
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