Colorado stocks fall despite U.S. trend
Two important industries fall, pushing the state’s index down 3.4 percent quickly.
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.