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

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Piper Jaffray Cos. upped their target price on shares of Alon USA Energy from $5.00 to $6.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Friday. Citigroup Inc. assumed coverage on shares of Alon USA Energy in a research note on Wednesday, September 14th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $10.50 target price for the company. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a “hold” rating and issued a $9.00 target price on shares of Alon USA Energy in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Barclays PLC upgraded shares of Alon USA Energy from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $10.00 to $8.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Alon USA Energy in a research note on Sunday, July 10th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. Alon USA Energy has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus 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% on Tuesday, hitting $8.42. 825,556 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $7.69 and its 200 day moving average price is $8.38. The firm’s market cap is $597.65 million. Alon USA Energy has a one year low of $5.86 and a one year high of $19.84.

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

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

In other news, insider David Wiessman sold 105,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $7.33, for a total value of $769,650.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 2,580,541 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,915,365.53. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, VP Michael Oster sold 18,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $7.33, for a total transaction of $135,605.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 47,553 shares in the company, valued at $348,563.49. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 8.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ALJ. Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its stake 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 worth $116,000 after buying an additional 4,313 shares during the period. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its stake in Alon USA Energy by 35.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 14,599 shares of the company’s stock worth $150,000 after buying an additional 3,837 shares during the period. Janus Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Alon USA Energy during the second quarter worth $150,000. Zacks Investment Management purchased a new stake in Alon USA Energy during the second quarter worth $160,000. Finally, Parametrica Management Ltd purchased a new stake in Alon USA Energy during the first quarter worth $200,000. Institutional investors own 50.46% of the company’s stock.

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:ALJ

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