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SunCoke Energy (NYSE:SXC) was upgraded by research analysts at Bank of America Corp. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Friday, Analyst Ratings Net reports. The firm currently has a $25.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $20.00. Bank of America Corp.’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 17.43% from the stock’s previous close.

The analysts wrote, “We believe SXC is well-positioned to grow through its MLP into 2014. Its Sunoco tax-sharing agreement expires Jan 18, giving it more flexibility to either drop down assets or divest its underperforming coal business. Dropping down take-or-pay coke assets to its MLP would provide attractive returns through its 58% stake in the MLP. Essentially SXC becomes a way to benefit from an attractive yield for those that can’t own MLPs. We had been perhaps overly concerned the parent would retain more volatile assets but with Indiana Harbor challenges behind and coal mining a small part of its portfolio, we look ahead to attractive growth via the MLP.”

SunCoke Energy (NYSE:SXC) opened at 21.29 on Friday. SunCoke Energy has a 1-year low of $13.58 and a 1-year high of $22.98. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $21.29 and a 200-day moving average of $17.3. The company has a market cap of $1.481 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.08.

SunCoke Energy (NYSE:SXC) last announced its earnings results on Friday, October 25th. The company reported $0.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.07 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $390.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $408.48 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.45 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 18.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that SunCoke Energy will post $0.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

SXC has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at TheStreet upgraded shares of SunCoke Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note to investors on Tuesday, November 5th. Separately, analysts at Barclays raised their price target on shares of SunCoke Energy from $19.00 to $21.00 in a research note to investors on Monday, October 28th. They now have an “equal weight” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of SunCoke Energy in a research note to investors on Thursday, October 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $22.20.

SunCoke Energy, Inc (NYSE:SXC) is an independent producer of metallurgical coke in the Americas.

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