Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Though Statoil ASA is fairly active in its development operations, we remain apprehensive as the company’s production has been facing hiccups of late. The company has lowered its spending and its financial flexibility is getting increasingly restricted. The currently weak commodity price environment adds to the woes. With crude prices anticipated to remain weak throughout 2016, Statoil’s revenues and earnings will likely remain stressed. Moreover, with major projects scheduled to be commissioned in coming years any project delays and capital spending deferrals may adversely affect the company’s profitability. Considering these factors, we see Statoil as a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit.”

Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on STO. HSBC downgraded shares of Statoil ASA from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 26th. TheStreet raised shares of Statoil ASA to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 26th. Royal Bank Of Canada downgraded shares of Statoil ASA from a “sector perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 31st. Deutsche Bank AG downgraded shares of Statoil ASA from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $16.43 to $16.64 in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. Finally, Societe Generale raised shares of Statoil ASA from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $15.53.

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Shares of Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) remained flat at $15.10 during mid-day trading on Tuesday. The company had a trading volume of 688,739 shares. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $15.90 and a 200-day moving average price of $16.23. Statoil ASA has a one year low of $10.89 and a one year high of $17.94. The firm’s market cap is $48.03 billion.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 16th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 3rd will be issued a dividend of $0.2201 per share. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.83%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 1st. Statoil ASA’s dividend payout ratio is currently -229.72%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Advisor Group Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Statoil ASA during the second quarter worth about $125,000. First Republic Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Statoil ASA by 8.2% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 12,963 shares of the company’s stock worth $202,000 after buying an additional 978 shares in the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new position in shares of Statoil ASA during the second quarter worth about $225,000. BlackRock Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Statoil ASA during the first quarter worth about $234,000. Finally, Fox Run Management L.L.C. purchased a new position in shares of Statoil ASA during the second quarter worth about $242,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 5.34% of the company’s stock.

Statoil ASA Company Profile

Statoil ASA is an energy company, engaged in oil and gas exploration and production activities. The Company’s segments include Development and Production Norway (DPN), Development and Production USA (DPUSA), Development and Production International (DPI), Marketing, Midstream and Processing (MMP), New Energy Solutions (NES), and Other.

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