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Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Bank of America Corp. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm currently has a $87.00 price objective on the stock, up from their previous price objective of $82.00. Bank of America Corp.’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 38.96% from the stock’s previous close.

In other Noble Energy news, VP Susan Cunningham unloaded 34,188 shares of Noble Energy stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.19, for a total transaction of $2,160,339.72. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 136,884 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,649,700. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link.

Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) traded up 5.29% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $65.92. 4,369,714 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Noble Energy has a 52-week low of $52.62 and a 52-week high of $78.01. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $64.94 and a 200-day moving average of $67.24. The company has a market cap of $23.665 billion and a P/E ratio of 20.59.

Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 6th. The company reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.42. The company had revenue of $1.33 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.31 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.65 earnings per share. Noble Energy’s revenue was up 13.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Noble Energy will post $3.49 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Monday, February 24th. Shareholders of record on Monday, February 10th will be given a dividend of 0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.89%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 6th.

NBL has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at UBS AG cut their price target on shares of Noble Energy from $80.00 to $76.00 in a research note to investors on Friday. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Wunderlich raised their price target on shares of Noble Energy from $84.00 to $88.00 in a research note to investors on Friday. Finally, analysts at Mizuho upgraded shares of Noble Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note to investors on Friday. They now have a $78.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $75.00. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, fourteen have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $78.76.

Noble Energy, Inc (NYSE:NBL) is an independent energy company engaged in worldwide oil and gas exploration and production.

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