QEP Resources Inc. (NYSE:QEP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “With a diversified asset base, exposure to emerging plays and quality acreage in multiple basins, this mid-cap onshore-focused E&P offers a compelling value. Since its split from Questar Corp. in 2010, QEP has established a strong track record of production growth, while maintaining a competitive cost structure. The split of its midstream segment is expected to further enhance shareholder worth. However, the natural gas-heavy production mix currently clouds QEP’s value and is the main factor behind our cautious stance. Moreover, the oil price slump has adversely affected the group’s earnings and cash flows. Consequently, until the external environment challenges subside, we see limited upside for QEP shares from current levels.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on QEP. Drexel Hamilton started coverage on QEP Resources in a report on Tuesday, June 7th. They set a “buy” rating and a $33.00 target price for the company. Deutsche Bank AG increased their target price on QEP Resources from $22.00 to $23.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. Piper Jaffray Cos. raised QEP Resources from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. Simmons raised QEP Resources from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their target price for the company from $20.00 to $24.00 in a report on Wednesday, June 15th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “buy” rating on shares of QEP Resources in a report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $22.14.

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QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP) traded down 0.556% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $16.995. The company had a trading volume of 1,456,323 shares. QEP Resources has a 52 week low of $8.54 and a 52 week high of $20.96. The firm’s market capitalization is $4.07 billion. The company’s 50-day moving average is $18.91 and its 200 day moving average is $17.10.

QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported ($0.23) earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.35) by $0.12. The company earned $333.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $362.17 million. QEP Resources had a negative return on equity of 4.04% and a negative net margin of 67.39%. QEP Resources’s quarterly revenue was down 41.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.09 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that QEP Resources will post ($1.19) EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO Charles B. Stanley purchased 16,763 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 30th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $17.85 per share, for a total transaction of $299,219.55. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders own 1.36% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its stake in shares of QEP Resources by 33.9% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 27,715,828 shares of the company’s stock valued at $391,071,000 after buying an additional 7,013,529 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of QEP Resources by 19.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 17,482,358 shares of the company’s stock valued at $308,213,000 after buying an additional 2,810,845 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in shares of QEP Resources by 21.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 8,498,031 shares of the company’s stock valued at $149,820,000 after buying an additional 1,515,475 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of QEP Resources by 3.8% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 7,808,443 shares of the company’s stock valued at $137,666,000 after buying an additional 287,527 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in shares of QEP Resources by 9.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 6,372,496 shares of the company’s stock valued at $112,347,000 after buying an additional 546,750 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.71% of the company’s stock.

About QEP Resources

QEP Resources, Inc (QEP) is a holding company with two subsidiaries, QEP Energy Company and QEP Marketing Company, which are engaged in two primary lines of business: oil and gas exploration and production (QEP Energy), and oil and gas marketing, operation of a gas gathering system and an underground gas storage facility, and corporate activities (QEP Marketing and Other).

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