Occidental Petroleum Co. (NYSE:OXY) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Loss in Occidental Petroleum’ share price was wider than the broader industry’s loss in last one year. Occidental Petroleum like other oil and natural gas companies faces the risks of cost overruns and development interruptions due to delays in drilling and other approvals, property or border disputes, and equipment failures. The recent weakness in oil prices could jeopardize Occidental Petroleum’s plan to gain by producing more oil from the Permian Resources. Nonetheless, Occidental Petroleum is a stable cash flow generator. The company has plans to sell its low-margin assets and focus on higher-quality assets.”

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Bank of America Corporation raised shares of Occidental Petroleum from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 15th. Credit Suisse Group raised shares of Occidental Petroleum from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $70.00 to $79.00 in a research note on Tuesday, March 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Barclays PLC reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $50.00 target price (down from $62.00) on shares of Occidental Petroleum in a research note on Thursday, April 20th. Scotiabank reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $68.00 target price on shares of Occidental Petroleum in a research note on Monday, May 15th. Finally, Mizuho reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $67.00 target price on shares of Occidental Petroleum in a research note on Tuesday, March 28th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $70.05.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY) traded up 0.27% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $58.93. The company had a trading volume of 1,794,154 shares. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $60.48 and its 200-day moving average price is $64.70. Occidental Petroleum has a 12 month low of $57.20 and a 12 month high of $78.48. The stock’s market cap is $45.06 billion.

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The oil and gas producer reported $0.15 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $2.98 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.96 billion. Occidental Petroleum had a net margin of 2.92% and a return on equity of 2.20%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 30.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned ($0.47) EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Occidental Petroleum will post $0.90 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 9th will be paid a dividend of $0.76 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 7th. This represents a $3.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.17%. Occidental Petroleum’s dividend payout ratio is -428.17%.

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In other news, CFO Cedric W. Burgher bought 1,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 7th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $59.85 per share, for a total transaction of $101,745.00. Following the purchase, the chief financial officer now owns 44,124 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,640,821.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Stephen I. Chazen sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.88, for a total transaction of $251,520.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 1,472,619 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $92,598,282.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 20,000 shares of company stock valued at $1,236,200. Company insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Community Trust & Investment Company increased its stake in shares of Occidental Petroleum by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. Community Trust & Investment Company now owns 151,270 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $10,227,000 after buying an additional 2,631 shares during the period. Curbstone Financial Management increased its stake in shares of Occidental Petroleum by 41.0% in the fourth quarter. Curbstone Financial Management now owns 7,030 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $475,000 after buying an additional 2,045 shares during the period. Eagle Asset Management increased its stake in shares of Occidental Petroleum by 93.5% in the third quarter. Eagle Asset Management now owns 1,713,224 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $113,328,000 after buying an additional 827,991 shares during the period. Private Asset Management increased its stake in shares of Occidental Petroleum by 4.4% in the fourth quarter. Private Asset Management now owns 65,710 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $4,443,000 after buying an additional 2,794 shares during the period. Finally, Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft purchased a new stake in shares of Occidental Petroleum during the third quarter valued at about $2,787,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.48% of the company’s stock.

Occidental Petroleum Company Profile

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Occidental) is an oil and gas exploration and production company. The Company operates through three segments: oil and gas, chemical (OxyChem), and midstream and marketing. The oil and gas segment explores for, develops and produces oil and condensate, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and natural gas.

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