Citigroup Upgrades Valero Energy (VLO) to “Buy”

Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) was upgraded by research analysts at Citigroup from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $96.00 price target on the oil and gas company’s stock. Citigroup’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 7.29% from the company’s current price.

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on VLO. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $87.00 target price (up from $74.00) on shares of Valero Energy in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Valero Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. Cowen reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price on shares of Valero Energy in a research report on Thursday, February 1st. UBS Group upped their target price on shares of Valero Energy from $80.00 to $83.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $110.00 target price on shares of Valero Energy in a research report on Tuesday, January 30th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. Valero Energy presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $89.06.

Shares of Valero Energy (VLO) opened at $89.48 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 1.24 and a current ratio of 1.91. The firm has a market cap of $38,874.70, a PE ratio of 9.68, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.11 and a beta of 0.99. Valero Energy has a 52 week low of $60.69 and a 52 week high of $99.95.

Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The oil and gas company reported $1.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.08. Valero Energy had a net margin of 4.33% and a return on equity of 10.55%. The company had revenue of $26.39 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $23.02 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.81 earnings per share. Valero Energy’s quarterly revenue was up 27.4% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that Valero Energy will post 7.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Valero Energy declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, January 23rd that allows the company to repurchase $2.50 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the oil and gas company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, CFO Michael S. Ciskowski sold 251,530 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.29, for a total value of $23,465,233.70. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 309,119 shares in the company, valued at $28,837,711.51. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Michael S. Ciskowski sold 45,657 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.91, for a total transaction of $4,059,363.87. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 57,589 shares in the company, valued at $5,120,237.99. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 298,187 shares of company stock worth $27,611,828 over the last 90 days. 0.45% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Cetera Investment Advisers increased its stake in Valero Energy by 6.2% in the second quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 4,525 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $304,000 after purchasing an additional 265 shares in the last quarter. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC increased its stake in Valero Energy by 8.3% in the fourth quarter. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 7,092 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $652,000 after purchasing an additional 541 shares in the last quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. increased its stake in Valero Energy by 26.1% in the fourth quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. now owns 2,660 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $244,000 after purchasing an additional 550 shares in the last quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in Valero Energy by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. now owns 40,047 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $3,681,000 after purchasing an additional 591 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BB&T Investment Services Inc. increased its stake in Valero Energy by 6.5% in the third quarter. BB&T Investment Services Inc. now owns 10,276 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $791,000 after purchasing an additional 630 shares in the last quarter. 81.03% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Valero Energy Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO)

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