Tesoro Corp. (NYSE:TSO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Tesoro is one the largest independent oil refiners in the U.S. A major advantage for the company is the scale and diversification benefits offered by its portfolio of 7 refineries. We also like TSO's solid long-term competitive position on the supply constrained California market. We view Tesoro's recent acquisition of biorenewables producer Virent as positive, as it will help the downstream operator to develop cleaner fuels – by commercializing the latter's renewable energy technology – and reduce compliance costs. However, we remain worried by the compression in refining margins toward more normal levels. Following a prolonged period of high differentials, crack spreads are set to weaken, which will lead to deteriorating near-term earnings and cash flows. Therefore, while being incrementally more positive on TSO, we would advise investors to wait for a better entry point before buying shares in the company.”

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on TSO. Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded Tesoro Corp. from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $100.00 to $90.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. Cowen and Company restated a “buy” rating on shares of Tesoro Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, June 1st. Simmons restated an “overweight” rating and set a $82.00 price target (up previously from $78.00) on shares of Tesoro Corp. in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Howard Weil upgraded Tesoro Corp. from a “sector perform” rating to a “sector outperform” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $105.00 to $93.00 in a research report on Monday, July 11th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. restated a “hold” rating on shares of Tesoro Corp. in a research report on Sunday, July 10th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Tesoro Corp. currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $101.13.

Analyst Recommendations for Tesoro Corp. (NYSE:TSO)

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Tesoro Corp. (NYSE:TSO) opened at 83.115 on Thursday. Tesoro Corp. has a 52 week low of $67.80 and a 52 week high of $119.67. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $77.24 and its 200 day moving average price is $79.32. The firm has a market cap of $9.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.779 and a beta of 2.10.

Tesoro Corp. (NYSE:TSO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $3.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.77 by $1.70. Tesoro Corp. had a return on equity of 20.15% and a net margin of 5.12%. The company had revenue of $6.29 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.87 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $4.59 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 23.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Tesoro Corp. will post $5.46 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 31st were issued a $0.55 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 29th. This is a positive change from Tesoro Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.50. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.69%. Tesoro Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 20.72%.

In other Tesoro Corp. news, CFO Steven Sterin bought 1,100 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 26th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $73.93 per share, for a total transaction of $81,323.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief financial officer now owns 8,152 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $602,677.36. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 0.88% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Signaturefd LLC raised its position in Tesoro Corp. by 1.4% in the second quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 1,351 shares of the company’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 18 shares during the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in Tesoro Corp. during the first quarter valued at about $103,000. Zions Bancorporation raised its position in Tesoro Corp. by 2,912.2% in the first quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 1,235 shares of the company’s stock valued at $106,000 after buying an additional 1,194 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. acquired a new position in Tesoro Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $118,000. Finally, Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. raised its position in Tesoro Corp. by 8.0% in the second quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. now owns 1,620 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 120 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.41% of the company’s stock.

About Tesoro Corp.

Tesoro Corporation (Tesoro) is an independent petroleum refining and marketing company. The Company operates through three business segments: Refining operating segment (Refining), which owns and operates refineries, and refines crude oil and other feedstocks into transportation fuels; TLLP, a publicly traded limited partnership, which includes certain crude oil and natural gas gathering assets, natural gas processing and crude oil and refined products terminaling, and transportation and storage assets, and marketing segment (Marketing), which sells transportation fuels.

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