Alon USA Energy Inc. (NYSE:ALJ) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Alon USA Energy, Inc. is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, operating primarily in the Southwestern and South Central regions of the United States. Alon markets gasoline and diesel products under the FINA brand name and is a leading producer of asphalt in the State of Texas. The Company also operates convenience stores in West Texas and New Mexico under the 7-Eleven and FINA brand names and supplies motor fuels to these stores from its Big Spring refinery. “

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. Citigroup Inc. started coverage on Alon USA Energy in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $10.50 price target on the stock. Barclays PLC upgraded Alon USA Energy from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and cut their price target for the company from $10.00 to $8.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $9.00 target price on shares of Alon USA Energy in a report on Friday, July 29th. Wells Fargo & Co. reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Alon USA Energy in a report on Sunday, July 10th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their target price on Alon USA Energy from $8.00 to $7.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, June 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $9.19.

Analyst Recommendations for Alon USA Energy (NYSE:ALJ)

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Shares of Alon USA Energy (NYSE:ALJ) traded down 2.55% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $8.42. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 825,556 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average of $7.69 and a 200 day moving average of $8.38. Alon USA Energy has a 1-year low of $5.86 and a 1-year high of $19.84. The company’s market cap is $597.65 million.

Alon USA Energy (NYSE:ALJ) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported ($0.21) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.19) by $0.02. The firm earned $1.01 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $883.85 million. Alon USA Energy had a negative net margin of 1.75% and a negative return on equity of 2.29%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 22.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.67 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Alon USA Energy will post ($1.10) EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 19th were given a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.13%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 17th. Alon USA Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -61.86%.

In other Alon USA Energy news, VP Michael Oster sold 18,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $7.33, for a total transaction of $135,605.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 47,553 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $348,563.49. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider David Wiessman sold 175,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $6.90, for a total value of $1,207,500.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 2,910,541 shares in the company, valued at approximately $20,082,732.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 8.80% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Group LTD increased its position in Alon USA Energy by 35.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 14,599 shares of the company’s stock valued at $150,000 after buying an additional 3,837 shares during the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp increased its position in Alon USA Energy by 31.6% in the second quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 17,965 shares of the company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 4,313 shares during the last quarter. Parametrica Management Ltd purchased a new position in Alon USA Energy during the first quarter valued at approximately $200,000. Janus Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Alon USA Energy during the second quarter valued at approximately $150,000. Finally, Acrospire Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in Alon USA Energy during the first quarter valued at approximately $243,000. 50.46% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Alon USA Energy

Alon USA Energy, Inc is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, operating primarily in the South Central, Southwestern and Western regions of the United States. The Company operates through three segments: refining and marketing, asphalt and retail. Its refineries produce petroleum products, including various grades of gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, petrochemicals, petrochemical feedstocks, asphalt and other petroleum-based products.

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