CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE:CNX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Monday. The firm currently has a $18.00 target price on the oil and gas producer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 12.99% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “CONSOL Energy’s increasing focus on E&P business is yielding positive results. Thanks to its solid asset base, the company is well poised to achieve the new E&P production targets. The company sold non-core E&P assets in the reported quarter and continues to pursue its strategy of separating the coal and E&P business. Besides, it continues to implement its hedge program and some volume of natural gas production is hedged through 2020 to protect against fluctuating prices. The company has taken steps to separate its mining and E&P division. However, CONSOL Energy’s shares returned lower than the broader industry in the last one month. CONSOL’s dependence on a limited group of customers for bulk sales of coal and operation of traditionally risky underground mines are headwinds.”

A number of other analysts have also recently commented on CNX. BidaskClub raised CONSOL Energy from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $22.00 price target on CONSOL Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 4th. KLR Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $24.00 price target (up from $22.00) on shares of CONSOL Energy in a report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Barclays PLC restated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $18.00 price objective (down from $20.00) on shares of CONSOL Energy in a research note on Saturday, April 22nd. Finally, FBR & Co restated a “buy” rating on shares of CONSOL Energy in a research note on Thursday, May 18th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $22.52.

Shares of CONSOL Energy (NYSE:CNX) traded up 1.69% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $16.20. 1,431,437 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $14.91 and a 200-day moving average of $16.12. The company’s market capitalization is $3.73 billion. CONSOL Energy has a 1-year low of $13.55 and a 1-year high of $22.34.

CONSOL Energy (NYSE:CNX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The oil and gas producer reported $0.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.11 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $698.71 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $648.26 million. CONSOL Energy had a negative return on equity of 1.12% and a negative net margin of 36.01%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 31.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned ($0.43) earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that CONSOL Energy will post $0.50 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Allianz Asset Management AG raised its position in shares of CONSOL Energy by 4.8% in the fourth quarter. Allianz Asset Management AG now owns 14,030 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $256,000 after buying an additional 639 shares during the last quarter. James Investment Research Inc. raised its position in shares of CONSOL Energy by 10.1% in the first quarter. James Investment Research Inc. now owns 7,222 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 662 shares during the last quarter. ANTIPODES PARTNERS Ltd raised its position in shares of CONSOL Energy by 117.5% in the second quarter. ANTIPODES PARTNERS Ltd now owns 2,806,977 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $41,936,000 after buying an additional 1,516,289 shares during the last quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. raised its position in shares of CONSOL Energy by 139.3% in the first quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 129,140 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $2,166,000 after buying an additional 75,168 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Thomas White International Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of CONSOL Energy during the first quarter worth $715,000.

About CONSOL Energy

CONSOL Energy Inc (CONSOL Energy) is an integrated energy company. The Company’s divisions include Exploration and Production (E&P), Pennsylvania (PA) Mining Operations and Other. The E&P division operates through four segments: Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale, Coalbed Methane (CBM) and Other Gas, which produce pipeline quality natural gas for sale primarily to gas wholesalers.

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