Statoil ASA (STO) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research
Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.
According to Zacks, “The near term prospect for Statoil ASA’s upstream operation seems bleak following the persistent weak commodity prices. Although oil prices has recovered significantly from mid-February lows, a closer look reveals that it is way below the level the commodity was trading in mid-2014. Additionally, OPEC’s September crude production came at a record level, which contradicts the cartel’s pledge to recover oil prices by curbing production in an already over-supplied market. Overall, there might not be any respite to oil prices in the near term that could hinder the company’s upstream business. On top of that, Statoil ASA’s plan to lower 2016 spending for exploration activities may reduce the company’s production. Therefore, we caution investors against this company at this point.”
A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Bank of America Corp. upgraded Statoil ASA from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, July 15th. Morgan Stanley downgraded Statoil ASA from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a report on Friday, September 9th. HSBC upgraded Statoil ASA from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. Societe Generale upgraded Statoil ASA from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, DNB Markets upgraded Statoil ASA from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $15.53.
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Shares of Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) traded down 1.13% during trading on Thursday, reaching $16.68. 871,140 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $16.04 and a 200-day moving average price of $16.31. Statoil ASA has a one year low of $10.89 and a one year high of $17.94. The stock’s market capitalization is $53.06 billion.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 16th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 3rd will be given a $0.2201 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 1st. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.22%. Statoil ASA’s dividend payout ratio is currently -229.72%.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc boosted its position in Statoil ASA by 12.2% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 26,183 shares of the company’s stock valued at $407,000 after buying an additional 2,839 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. acquired a new position in Statoil ASA during the first quarter valued at $234,000. BlackRock Group LTD acquired a new position in Statoil ASA during the first quarter valued at $1,793,000. Folketrygdfondet boosted its position in Statoil ASA by 4.0% in the first quarter. Folketrygdfondet now owns 117,436,971 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,827,319,000 after buying an additional 4,479,827 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. Ltd. acquired a new position in Statoil ASA during the first quarter valued at $3,587,000. 5.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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