Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $176.00 price objective on the oil and gas development company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 12.40% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Pioneer remains focused on the Permian Basin, which is among the lucrative oil shale plays with less risk for operation. The region has been growing production even with reduced investment. It is to be noted that Pioneer expects fourth-quarter 2017 production to be in the range of 292 MBOE/D to 302 MBOE/D, significantly higher than 241.8 MBOE/D during the prior-year comparable quarter. The company’s low level of debt is also noteworthy. Since 2016, there has been a steady decline in the company’s long-term debt levels, reflecting strong balance sheet. Pioneer Natural Resources has an encouraging earnings surprise history despite persistent weak commodity prices. The oil & gas exploration and production firm was able to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the prior four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 67.6%.”

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. BMO Capital Markets set a $200.00 target price on shares of Pioneer Natural Resources and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $180.00 price target on shares of Pioneer Natural Resources in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Stifel Nicolaus set a $248.00 price target on shares of Pioneer Natural Resources and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating and set a $196.00 price target on shares of Pioneer Natural Resources in a research report on Friday, September 29th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $201.00 price target on shares of Pioneer Natural Resources and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, October 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and twenty-two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $192.20.

Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE PXD) traded down $0.48 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $156.58. 895,400 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,830,959. Pioneer Natural Resources has a 1 year low of $125.46 and a 1 year high of $199.83. The stock has a market capitalization of $26,726.16, a price-to-earnings ratio of 109.83, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 10.03 and a beta of 0.97. The company has a quick ratio of 1.58, a current ratio of 1.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22.

Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The oil and gas development company reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.30 by $0.18. Pioneer Natural Resources had a net margin of 2.17% and a return on equity of 2.34%. The firm had revenue of $1.46 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.15 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.13 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 23.1% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that Pioneer Natural Resources will post 1.53 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Pioneer Natural Resources news, EVP Mark Stephen Berg sold 2,000 shares of Pioneer Natural Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.85, for a total value of $315,700.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 46,719 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,374,594.15. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Chairman Scott D. Sheffield sold 5,000 shares of Pioneer Natural Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $161.14, for a total transaction of $805,700.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 585,466 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $94,341,991.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 25,392 shares of company stock valued at $4,036,997. 0.89% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of PXD. Capital World Investors grew its position in Pioneer Natural Resources by 45.4% in the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 8,005,002 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $1,277,438,000 after purchasing an additional 2,500,000 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Pioneer Natural Resources by 706.3% during the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 2,006,435 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $319,475,000 after acquiring an additional 1,757,576 shares during the last quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. boosted its stake in shares of Pioneer Natural Resources by 2,357.7% during the 3rd quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 739,763 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $109,145,000 after acquiring an additional 709,663 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its stake in shares of Pioneer Natural Resources by 1,138.7% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 577,107 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $92,095,000 after acquiring an additional 530,517 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Eagle Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Pioneer Natural Resources during the 3rd quarter worth $75,317,000. 90.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Pioneer Natural Resources

Pioneer Natural Resources Company is an oil and gas exploration and production company. The Company explores for, develops and produces oil, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and gas within the United States, with operations primarily in the Permian Basin in West Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale play in South Texas, the Raton field in southeast Colorado and the West Panhandle field in the Texas Panhandle.

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