Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) 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, “Halliburton shares have suffered this year, as have shares of all oil-related companies, to reflect the commodity's price slide and uneven outlook. That said, it has done better than its peers (the stock is down -22.3% in the year-to-date period vs. 26.5% decline for the Zacks Oil & Gas-Field Services industry), reflecting improved utilization on the back of surging North American rig count. Halliburton's cost saving initiatives undertaken during the downturn have also helped the company navigate the difficult operating environment. However, sluggish international outlook – reflecting lower activity and pricing pressure – is expected to dampen investor confidence. Moreover, with the failure of BHI acquisition, HAL had to book a massive $3.5 billion in breakup charges that stretched its balance sheet. Hence, we advise investors to wait for a better entry point before buying shares in HAL.”

HAL has been the subject of a number of other reports. BMO Capital Markets set a $67.00 price objective on Halliburton and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 12th. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $65.00 price objective on Halliburton and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, June 24th. Credit Suisse Group set a $60.00 target price on Halliburton and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 27th. Sanford C. Bernstein restated a “buy” rating on shares of Halliburton in a research note on Thursday, May 4th. Finally, Morgan Stanley restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $60.00 target price (down from $67.00) on shares of Halliburton in a research note on Wednesday, June 21st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, twenty-eight have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $59.78.

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) traded down 0.20% during trading on Thursday, hitting $45.49. 3,852,066 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock’s market cap is $39.48 billion. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $43.65 and a 200 day moving average price of $49.25. Halliburton has a one year low of $40.12 and a one year high of $58.78. Halliburton also saw some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 11,959 put options on the company. This is an increase of 171% compared to the typical volume of 4,407 put options.

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, April 24th. The oilfield services company reported $0.04 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.03 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $4.28 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.30 billion. Halliburton had a negative return on equity of 0.48% and a negative net margin of 21.19%. The business’s revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.07 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Halliburton will post $1.01 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, Director William E. Albrecht acquired 8,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 15th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $46.33 per share, with a total value of $370,640.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 8,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $370,640. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.46% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. CENTRAL TRUST Co increased its stake in Halliburton by 71.3% in the first quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 8,173 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $402,000 after buying an additional 3,403 shares during the last quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. increased its stake in Halliburton by 3.3% in the first quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 750,981 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $36,956,000 after buying an additional 24,253 shares during the last quarter. Atalanta Sosnoff Capital LLC increased its stake in Halliburton by 43.5% in the first quarter. Atalanta Sosnoff Capital LLC now owns 577,885 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $28,438,000 after buying an additional 175,103 shares during the last quarter. Park National Corp OH increased its stake in Halliburton by 11.3% in the first quarter. Park National Corp OH now owns 102,811 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $5,059,000 after buying an additional 10,429 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cacti Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Halliburton by 1.4% in the first quarter. Cacti Asset Management LLC now owns 707,616 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $34,687,000 after buying an additional 10,000 shares during the last quarter. 79.67% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Halliburton

Halliburton Company provides services and products to the upstream oil and natural gas industry throughout the lifecycle of the reservoir, from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data, to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production throughout the life of the field.

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Analyst Recommendations for Halliburton (NYSE:HAL)

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