Empire Life Investments Inc. lessened its holdings in Valero Energy Co. (NYSE:VLO) by 16.7% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 49,459 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock after selling 9,899 shares during the period. Empire Life Investments Inc.’s holdings in Valero Energy were worth $4,546,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of VLO. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its position in Valero Energy by 8.3% during 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 during the last quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. boosted its holdings in Valero Energy by 26.1% during 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. boosted its holdings in Valero Energy by 1.5% during 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. BB&T Investment Services Inc. boosted its holdings in Valero Energy by 6.5% during 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. Finally, GSA Capital Partners LLP boosted its holdings in Valero Energy by 1.9% during the third quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 34,781 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $2,676,000 after purchasing an additional 643 shares in the last quarter. 80.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other Valero Energy news, CFO Michael S. Ciskowski sold 45,657 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $88.91, for a total transaction of $4,059,363.87. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 57,589 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,120,237.99. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Stephen M. Waters sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.23, for a total value of $87,230.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 298,187 shares of company stock worth $27,611,828. Company insiders own 0.45% of the company’s stock.
Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The oil and gas company reported $1.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.08. Valero Energy had a return on equity of 10.30% and a net margin of 4.33%. The firm had revenue of $26.39 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $23.02 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.81 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 27.4% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Valero Energy Co. will post 7.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Valero Energy declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, January 23rd that permits the company to buyback $2.50 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the oil and gas company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 6th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 13th were issued a dividend of $0.80 per share. This is an increase from Valero Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, February 12th. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.39%. Valero Energy’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.63%.
VLO has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. ValuEngine raised Valero Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, December 31st. Barclays lifted their price objective on Valero Energy from $86.00 to $108.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on Valero Energy in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $91.00 price objective on the stock. Citigroup lifted their price objective on Valero Energy from $76.00 to $96.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Standpoint Research downgraded Valero Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $84.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Thursday, November 16th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. Valero Energy currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $90.76.
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About Valero Energy
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.
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