Nustar Energy L.P. (NYSE:NS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Considering NuStar Energy's weak distribution coverage and high leverage, we have turned bearish on the partnership. Crude's historic decline has undoubtedly impacted the demand for transportation and storage services. With operations likely to generate weak cash and management not expected to cover distribution until late 2018, NuStar's future looks bleak. In fact, the distribution coverage ratio dipped to a dismal 0.59x in the second quarter – down from 1.09x a year ago. While the midstream MLP has underperformed the broader industry across the past three- and 6-month periods, its debt-to-equity ratio of over 2 is almost double when compared to the industry average. In the wake of weak industry sentiment and apprehensions of more punishing times ahead with future cash flows drying up, we see little reason for investors to hold the stock.”

Several other brokerages have also commented on NS. Stifel Nicolaus cut their target price on Nustar Energy L.P. from $52.00 to $46.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. FBR & Co restated a “hold” rating on shares of Nustar Energy L.P. in a research report on Wednesday, April 12th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded Nustar Energy L.P. from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 13th. Wells Fargo & Company lowered Nustar Energy L.P. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, July 17th. Finally, Macquarie initiated coverage on Nustar Energy L.P. in a research report on Friday, April 21st. They set a “neutral” rating and a $47.00 target price on the stock. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. Nustar Energy L.P. currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $51.00.

Shares of Nustar Energy L.P. (NYSE NS) opened at 41.93 on Monday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $45.70 and its 200-day moving average price is $49.02. The firm has a market cap of $3.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 58.97 and a beta of 1.38. Nustar Energy L.P. has a 52-week low of $41.79 and a 52-week high of $55.64.

Nustar Energy L.P. (NYSE:NS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The pipeline company reported $0.05 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.33 by $0.28. Nustar Energy L.P. had a net margin of 6.77% and a return on equity of 8.84%. The company had revenue of $435.49 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $500.83 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.52 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Nustar Energy L.P. will post $1.26 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, Director Jesse D. Bates purchased 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $43.34 per share, with a total value of $43,340.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 7,818 shares in the company, valued at $338,832.12. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director William Grady Rosier purchased 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 19th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $46.40 per share, for a total transaction of $232,000.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have purchased 7,000 shares of company stock worth $318,150. 4.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Botty Investors LLC purchased a new position in Nustar Energy L.P. during the second quarter worth $127,000. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. increased its stake in shares of Nustar Energy L.P. by 708.0% in the second quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. now owns 3,232 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $158,000 after buying an additional 2,832 shares during the period. Sigma Planning Corp bought a new stake in shares of Nustar Energy L.P. during the first quarter valued at approximately $206,000. Level Four Advisory Services LLC increased its stake in shares of Nustar Energy L.P. by 4.5% in the first quarter. Level Four Advisory Services LLC now owns 4,423 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $226,000 after buying an additional 191 shares during the period. Finally, McQueen Ball & Associates Inc. increased its stake in shares of Nustar Energy L.P. by 2.3% in the second quarter. McQueen Ball & Associates Inc. now owns 5,361 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $250,000 after buying an additional 122 shares during the period. 52.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Nustar Energy L.P. Company Profile

NuStar Energy L.P. is engaged in the transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia; the terminalling and storage of petroleum products, and the marketing of petroleum products. The Company’s segments include pipeline, storage and fuels marketing. The pipeline segment consists of the transportation of refined petroleum products, crude oil and anhydrous ammonia.

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Analyst Recommendations for Nustar Energy L.P. (NYSE:NS)

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