Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $87.00 price target on the oil and gas company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 12.20% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Among independent refiners, Valero has the most diversified refinery base.  The company has been consistently reviewing its refining portfolio and enhancing its asset base by acquiring refinery assets, which help in boosting its operating performance. Also, Valero’s dividend yield is attractive and is much higher than the industry. It is to be noted that improving throughput volume on the back of higher refinery utilization rates has been rewarding Valero over the past four quarters. Following this development, the company managed to surpass the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the prior four quarters. Also, Valero’s price performance looks lucrative as reflected by the company’s 14.6% gain as compared with 9% improvement of the industry over the last three months.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on the company. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $77.00 price objective on shares of Valero Energy Corporation in a report on Thursday, August 31st. BidaskClub downgraded Valero Energy Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Scotiabank set a $70.00 price objective on Valero Energy Corporation and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Barclays PLC restated an “overweight” rating and set a $86.00 price objective (up previously from $85.00) on shares of Valero Energy Corporation in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. decreased their price objective on Valero Energy Corporation from $70.00 to $68.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, July 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company. Valero Energy Corporation has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $76.39.

Valero Energy Corporation (VLO) traded up 0.0084% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $77.5465. The company had a trading volume of 910,775 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $34.25 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.1426 and a beta of 1.22. Valero Energy Corporation has a one year low of $54.21 and a one year high of $78.64. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $74.39 and its 200-day moving average is $68.01.

Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The oil and gas company reported $1.23 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.15. The firm had revenue of $22.25 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $19.32 billion. Valero Energy Corporation had a return on equity of 8.59% and a net margin of 2.17%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.07 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Valero Energy Corporation will post $4.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION NOTICE: “Valero Energy Corporation (VLO) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy” was originally posted by American Banking News and is the property of of American Banking News. If you are viewing this piece on another site, it was illegally copied and republished in violation of United States and international copyright & trademark law. The correct version of this piece can be viewed at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/10/23/valero-energy-corporation-vlo-upgraded-by-zacks-investment-research-to-buy-2.html.

In other Valero Energy Corporation news, CFO Michael S. Ciskowski sold 53,012 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.88, for a total value of $3,863,514.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 67,413 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,913,059.44. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Stephen M. Waters sold 656 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.86, for a total value of $49,764.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 55,168 shares of company stock valued at $4,015,279 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.45% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. lifted its position in shares of Valero Energy Corporation by 62.2% during the 2nd quarter. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. now owns 1,614 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 619 shares during the last quarter. First Personal Financial Services lifted its position in shares of Valero Energy Corporation by 13.6% during the 2nd quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 1,636 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 196 shares during the last quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America lifted its position in shares of Valero Energy Corporation by 0.6% during the 1st quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,746 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. Ffcm LLC lifted its position in shares of Valero Energy Corporation by 189.4% during the 2nd quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 1,881 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $128,000 after buying an additional 1,231 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Manchester Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Valero Energy Corporation by 16.9% during the 2nd quarter. Manchester Capital Management LLC now owns 2,076 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $140,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. 80.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Valero Energy Corporation

Valero Energy Corporation (Valero) is an independent petroleum refiner and ethanol producer. The Company’s segments include refining, ethanol and Valero Energy Partners LP (VLP). The refining segment includes its refining operations and the associated marketing activities. The ethanol segment includes its ethanol operations and the associated marketing activities, and logistics assets that support its ethanol operations.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Valero Energy Corporation (VLO)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO)

Receive News & Ratings for Valero Energy Corporation Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Valero Energy Corporation and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.