Gastar Exploration Inc (NYSE:GST) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in October. As of October 13th, there was short interest totalling 22,619,776 shares, a decrease of 3.6% from the September 29th total of 23,454,807 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 593,126 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 38.1 days. Currently, 11.5% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in GST. Rhumbline Advisers purchased a new position in shares of Gastar Exploration in the second quarter worth about $163,000. Verition Fund Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Gastar Exploration by 7.8% in the second quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC now owns 250,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $232,000 after buying an additional 18,107 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its holdings in shares of Gastar Exploration by 2.4% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 254,924 shares of the company’s stock worth $236,000 after buying an additional 6,000 shares during the period. California State Teachers Retirement System purchased a new position in shares of Gastar Exploration in the second quarter worth about $286,000. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Gastar Exploration in the second quarter worth about $294,000.

Gastar Exploration (NYSE GST) traded up 2.0567% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $0.7195. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 599,787 shares. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $0.73 and a 200 day moving average of $0.93. The company’s market cap is $143.57 million. Gastar Exploration has a 52-week low of $0.38 and a 52-week high of $2.19.

Gastar Exploration (NYSE:GST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The company reported ($0.05) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.04) by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $22.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $18.78 million. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 85.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted ($0.12) EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Gastar Exploration will post ($0.17) EPS for the current year.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on GST. Zacks Investment Research cut Gastar Exploration from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, October 13th. Imperial Capital began coverage on Gastar Exploration in a report on Tuesday, September 19th. They issued an “in-line” rating and a $1.00 target price for the company. Finally, Williams Capital set a $1.00 target price on Gastar Exploration and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Gastar Exploration presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $1.40.

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About Gastar Exploration

Gastar Exploration Inc, an independent energy company, engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil, condensate, natural gas, and natural gas liquids in the United States. Its principal activities include the identification, acquisition, exploration, and development of oil and natural gas properties on unconventional reserves, such as shale resource plays.

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