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Shares of Gastar Exploration (NYSE:GST) shot up 13.5% during mid-day trading on Friday following a stronger than expected earnings report, American Banking News.com reports. The company traded as high as $7.25 and last traded at $7.05, with a volume of 1,016,749 shares. The stock had previously closed at $6.21.

The company reported $0.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.02 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $35.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $33.18 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.81 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.2% on a year-over-year basis.

GST has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Analysts at Topeka Capital Markets raised their price target on shares of Gastar Exploration from $9.00 to $11.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 22nd. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Eurobank EFG downgraded shares of Gastar Exploration to a “speculative buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 18th. Finally, analysts at Canaccord Genuity initiated coverage on shares of Gastar Exploration in a research note on Wednesday, July 16th. They set a “buy” rating and a $12.00 price target on the stock. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $10.00.

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $7.90 and a 200-day moving average of $6.80. The company has a market cap of $443.9 million and a P/E ratio of 8.62.

Gastar Exploration Ltd (NYSE:GST) is an independent energy company engaged in the exploration, development and production of natural gas and oil in the United States.

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