Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $69.00 price objective on the energy company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 11.56% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Apache has a large, geographically diversified reserve base and multi-year trend in reserve replacement and production growth. We appreciate the company’s initiatives to align capital spending with its cash flows while continuing to build a high-quality inventory of projects capable of delivering attractive returns even in a low oil price environment. We also believe that Apache's portfolio restructuring initiatives and cost-cutting measures should allow it to improve its earnings performance in the future. Finally, Apache's recent Alpine High discovery in west Texas is expected to be a game-changer for the company. Estimated to hold massive oil and natural gas reserves, the wells are said to have strong economics and top-tier returns. Consequently, we think APA offers substantial upside potential from the current price levels and view it as an attractive investment.”

Several other research firms also recently issued reports on APA. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $67.00 price objective on shares of Apache Corp. in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Citigroup Inc. downgraded Apache Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $55.00 to $53.00 in a research note on Tuesday, August 9th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Vetr raised Apache Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $51.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, August 29th. Credit Agricole SA started coverage on Apache Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, June 22nd. They issued an “underperform” rating for the company. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of Apache Corp. in a research note on Thursday, August 11th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $58.65.

Analyst Recommendations for Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA)

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Shares of Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA) traded up 0.13% on Monday, reaching $61.85. 3,512,024 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Apache Corp. has a 52-week low of $32.20 and a 52-week high of $66.00. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $59.04 and its 200-day moving average price is $55.01. The stock’s market cap is $23.47 billion.

Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 4th. The energy company reported ($0.26) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.17) by $0.09. Apache Corp. had a negative net margin of 261.91% and a negative return on equity of 4.16%. The firm earned $1.38 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.31 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.22 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 38.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Apache Corp. will post ($0.71) EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 22nd. Investors of record on Friday, October 21st will be issued a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.62%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 19th. Apache Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently -2.78%.

In related news, insider Rebecca A. Hoyt sold 3,356 shares of Apache Corp. stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.94, for a total value of $204,514.64. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 12,755 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $777,289.70. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.40% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Spirit of America Management Corp NY bought a new position in Apache Corp. during the third quarter worth $128,000. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd bought a new position in Apache Corp. during the second quarter worth $117,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC bought a new position in Apache Corp. during the second quarter worth $117,000. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. bought a new position in Apache Corp. during the first quarter worth $107,000. Finally, Zions Bancorporation raised its position in Apache Corp. by 0.9% in the first quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,332 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. 91.18% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Apache Corp.

Apache Corporation (Apache) is an independent energy company. Both domestically and internationally, the Company explores for, develops and produces natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids. The Company has exploration and production interests in four countries: the United States, Canada, Egypt, and the United Kingdom (North Sea).

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