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Shares of Gastar Exploration (NYSE:GST) have received an average rating of “Buy” from the thirteen brokerages that are covering the stock, American Banking & Market News reports. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating on the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $9.88.

Gastar Exploration (NYSE:GST) opened at 7.62 on Wednesday. Gastar Exploration has a 1-year low of $2.96 and a 1-year high of $9.10. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $7.48 and its 200-day moving average is $6.94. The company’s market cap is $470.8 million. Gastar Exploration also was the recipient of a large increase in short interest during the month of August. As of August 15th, there was short interest totalling 7,012,038 shares, an increase of 11.6% from the July 31st total of 6,283,133 shares. Approximately 12.2% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,163,348 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 6.0 days.

Gastar Exploration (NYSE:GST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 7th. 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. On average, analysts predict that Gastar Exploration will post $0.25 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of research firms have recently commented on GST. Analysts at Zacks upgraded shares of Gastar Exploration from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, August 11th. They now have a $7.80 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Wunderlich raised their price target on shares of Gastar Exploration from $11.00 to $12.00 in a research note on Monday, August 11th. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, 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.

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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