Colorado stocks fall de­spite U.S. trend

Two im­por­tant in­dus­tries fall, push­ing the state’s in­dex down 3.4 per­cent quickly.

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Aldo Svaldi

U.S. stock indices are off to their best start for the first half of a year since 2013 and ended the sec­ond quar­ter with solid gains.

But the Bloomberg Colorado in­dex, a bas­ket of 70 stocks of com­pa­nies based in the state, was on the out­side look­ing in, with a 3.4 per­cent de­cline in the sec­ond quar­ter, driven by a slump in oil prices.

By con­trast, the Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age was up 3.3 per­cent, the S&P 500 was up 2.6 per­cent and the Nas­daq com­pos­ite was up 3.9 per­cent.

“It has been a wild and woolly quar­ter as the tech­nol­ogy and health care sec­tors are up strongly, 4 per­cent and 7 per­cent, re­spec­tively,” said Michael Ge­gen, a fi­nan­cial ad­viser at Robert W. Baird in Cherry Creek.

At the same time, indices that track en­ergy and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions — im­por­tant sec­tors in Colorado’s mix of com­pa­nies — were down about 7 per­cent each, Ge­gen said.

Shares of oil and gas pro­duc­ers SM En­ergy Corp., down 31.2 per­cent, PDC En­ergy, down 30.9 per­cent, and Whit­ing Petroleum, down 41.8 per­cent, were among those most im­pacted by a drop in oil prices, which started the quar­ter above $50 a bar­rel and ended closer to $46 a bar­rel.

The state’s worst-per­form­ing stock, how­ever, be­longed to West­more­land Coal. Shares of the En­gle­wood-based coal pro­ducer lost twothirds of their value in a short three months, de­spite a re­bound in global coal pro­duc­tion this year.

UQM Tech­nolo­gies, a Long­mont maker of elec­tric and fuel cell propul­sion sys­tems for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, was the state’s top-per­form­ing stock, with a 76.8 per­cent gain dur­ing the quar­ter.

“We have been very pub­lic about our strat­egy to try and get a foothold in China, which does rep­re­sent the largest mar­ket in the world. We are mak­ing good progress,” said David Rosen­thal, the com­pany’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer.

Shen­zhen Wuzhou­long Mo­tors, a Chi­nese com­pany, signed a deal with UQM last week for elec­tric propul­sion sys­tems to power its buses. An­other Chi­nese com­pany signed a $2.2 mil­lion deal to pur­chase fuel cell com­pres­sor mo­tors from UQM, the largest or­der ever at the com­pany for that par­tic­u­lar tech­nol­ogy.

Proterra, a U.S. maker of ze­roe­mis­sion elec­tric buses that de­ploys UQM drive sys­tems, is rais­ing mil­lions from pri­vate in­vestors and is ex­pected to go pub­lic later this year.

UQM Tech­nolo­gies has been around for five decades. Even after its big gain this year, the com­pany’s stock trades at 85 cents a share and has a mar­ket cap of $41.2 mil­lion.

Shares of BioScrip, a Den­ver­based provider of home in­fu­sion ser­vices, were the sec­ond-best per­form­ers in the state dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter. They rose 59.7 per­cent, over­com­ing an­a­lyst fore­casts that the com­pany’s losses would widen.

Clo­vis On­col­ogy, a Boul­der maker of can­cer drugs, was an­other top per­former, with a 47.1 per­cent gain in its shares the past three months. Al­most all of that gain came on a sin­gle day, June 19, when the com­pany an­nounced suc­cess­ful clin­i­cal trial re­sults for its ovar­ian can­cer drug Rubraca.

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