This was a busy week for the market, with earnings season continuing to unleash a torrent of news to digest. Earnings news, however, wasn't the only catalyst this week driving huge moves in energy-related stocks. That was clear when taking a look at the news that fueled strong double-digit moves in Natural Resource Partners (NYSE:NRP), Era Group (NYSE:ERA), and Helix Energy Solutions (NYSE:HLX), which, according to S&P Capital IQ data, were the energy stocks making the biggest moves this week.
For the second time this year, Natural Resource Partners took an ax to its distribution. This time, the MLP cut a 50% chunk out, which is another brutal blow after it axed the payout by 75% earlier this year. While slumping commodity prices are the main culprit, Natural Resource Partners also has a huge pile of debt that it wants to whittle down. It's hoping that the cash savings from reducing distributions will help, but it also announced that it plans to sell some assets to reduce debt.
Era Group also had some disappointing news for its investors this week. It announced that it lost a big helicopter contract with Brazilian energy giant Petrobras (NYSE:PBR). Era had been awarded a pending contract for seven helicopters that were supposed to be assigned to Petrobras by early next year; however, that pending contract has been terminated. Also concerning is the fact that Era has 10 other helicopters working for Petrobras, with three due up for an extension late next year, which are at risk of not be renewed.
On a more positive note, Helix Energy Solutions soared this week after reporting better-than-expected third-quarter results. Thanks to better vessel utilization and lower costs, Helix beat expectations. That was a welcomed sight for investors after Helix's dismal second-quarter report.
To learn even more about why these stocks moved so sharply this week, check out the following slideshow.