Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) was the target of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock investors acquired 7,819 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,445% compared to the typical volume of 506 call options.

Noble Energy (NBL) opened at $31.50 on Friday. Noble Energy has a 1 year low of $22.99 and a 1 year high of $40.89. The stock has a market capitalization of $15,330.00, a PE ratio of -7.89 and a beta of 1.16. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.75, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a current ratio of 0.95.

Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) last announced its earnings results on Monday, October 30th. The oil and gas development company reported ($0.02) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.13) by $0.11. Noble Energy had a positive return on equity of 1.06% and a negative net margin of 45.85%. The company had revenue of $960.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $961.61 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted ($0.07) EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Noble Energy will post -0.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO David L. Stover acquired 19,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 18th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $26.31 per share, for a total transaction of $499,890.00. Following the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 727,254 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $19,134,052.74. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director James E. Craddock sold 18,787 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.57, for a total value of $536,744.59. Following the sale, the director now owns 114,226 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,263,436.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 518,787 shares of company stock valued at $14,283,745 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 2.28% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC acquired a new position in Noble Energy during the 2nd quarter valued at about $106,000. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC acquired a new position in shares of Noble Energy in the third quarter valued at about $155,000. IndexIQ Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Noble Energy in the second quarter valued at about $214,000. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Noble Energy by 8.3% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 7,598 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock valued at $215,000 after purchasing an additional 580 shares during the period. Finally, BT Investment Management Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Noble Energy in the second quarter valued at about $221,000. 94.16% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on NBL. Royal Bank of Canada set a $36.00 price objective on Noble Energy and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Jefferies Group upgraded Noble Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $32.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Seaport Global Securities upgraded Noble Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. Stifel Nicolaus set a $42.00 price objective on Noble Energy and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, December 18th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut Noble Energy from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $30.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Friday, December 15th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Noble Energy currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $39.16.

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About Noble Energy

Noble Energy, Inc is an independent energy company. The Company is engaged in crude oil, natural gas and natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) exploration, development, production and acquisition. The Company’s segments include: United States, including the onshore DJ Basin, Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Marcellus Shale and offshore deepwater Gulf of Mexico, as well as the consolidated accounts of Noble Midstream Partners LP (Noble Midstream Partners); Eastern Mediterranean, including offshore Israel and Cyprus; West Africa, including offshore Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Gabon, and Other International and Corporate, including new ventures, such as offshore the Falkland Islands, Suriname and Newfoundland.

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