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Statoil ASA(ADR) (NYSE:STO) was upgraded by Zacks from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $38.00 target price on the stock. Zacks‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 21.21% from the stock’s previous close.

Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Statoil ASA reported strong first-quarter results with earnings beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate and revenues rising over the year-ago number. The growth is mainly attributable to increase in U.S. gas sales volumes and margins as well as higher prices for both liquids and gas. Statoil is gaining momentum with the start-up of operations on several new oil and gas fields. The company is also planning turnarounds on several oil and gas fields in 2014 to improve recovery of resources in mature fields. Moreover, Statoil boasts of a strong balance sheet, exited from low-profit generating operations and broadened its international asset base. The addition of new projects is expected to produce a CAGR growth rate of 2%-3% annually during the 2014 to 2016 period. Thus, we upgrade our recommendation from Neutral to Outperform and set a price target of $38.00.”

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Jefferies Group initiated coverage on shares of Statoil ASA(ADR) in a research note on Monday, June 16th. They set an “underperform” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Deutsche Bank downgraded shares of Statoil ASA(ADR) from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 12th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, analysts at RBC Capital downgraded shares of Statoil ASA(ADR) from a “top pick” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 15th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Statoil ASA(ADR) has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $64.75.

Statoil AS (NYSE:STO) traded down 1.40% on Wednesday, hitting $30.91. 1,011,449 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Statoil AS has a one year low of $20.30 and a one year high of $31.95. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $30.91 and a 200-day moving average of $27.35. The company has a market cap of $98.319 billion and a P/E ratio of 10.74. Statoil ASA(ADR) also saw a large increase in short interest in May. As of May 30th, there was short interest totalling 4,122,901 shares, an increase of 56.4% from the May 15th total of 2,636,959 shares. Approximately 0.0% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,532,662 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.7 days.

Statoil ASA(ADR) (NYSE:STO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 30th. The company reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.20. On average, analysts predict that Statoil AS will post $2.64 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) is a Norway-based integrated energy company primarily engaged in oil and gas exploration and production activities.

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