Hess (NYSE:HES) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Hess (NYSE:HES) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday, November 9th. The firm currently has a $53.00 target price on the oil and gas producer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 22.18% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Hess has made world-class oil discoveries at the Stabroek Block, located off the coast of Guyana. The company estimated the gross recoverable resources from the block at 2.25-2.75 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Also, Hess is among the leading producers of crude in the Bakken oil shale play in North Dakota. The company has interests in the best areas of the play. On top of that, the company’s total operating expenses during the first nine months of 2017 fell 33% from the year-ago period. We also appreciate Hess’s decision to divest non-core assets to focus more on projects with long-term prospects. The company has a strong earnings surprise history. Hess’ earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters, with an average positive earnings surprise of 3.91%.”

Several other research analysts also recently commented on HES. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $42.00 target price on shares of Hess in a report on Friday, September 1st. Citigroup decreased their price target on shares of Hess from $55.00 to $49.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 21st. Cowen set a $50.00 price target on shares of Hess and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. Wolfe Research lowered shares of Hess from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, July 17th. Finally, Barclays reiterated an “equal weight” rating and set a $50.00 target price (down from $61.00) on shares of Hess in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.79.

Hess (HES) opened at $43.38 on Thursday. Hess has a 52 week low of $37.25 and a 52 week high of $65.56. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 1.84 and a quick ratio of 1.68.

Hess (NYSE:HES) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The oil and gas producer reported ($1.07) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($1.29) by $0.22. The company had revenue of $1.67 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.27 billion. Hess had a negative net margin of 113.21% and a negative return on equity of 9.30%. The company’s revenue was up 39.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned ($1.12) EPS. equities analysts expect that Hess will post -4.58 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Brian D. Truelove sold 6,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.53, for a total transaction of $255,180.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 11.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Westpac Banking Corp boosted its holdings in Hess by 12.7% during the second quarter. Westpac Banking Corp now owns 159,383 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $6,992,000 after purchasing an additional 18,000 shares during the last quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its holdings in Hess by 0.3% during the second quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 235,633 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $10,337,000 after purchasing an additional 772 shares during the last quarter. Swiss National Bank boosted its holdings in Hess by 2.8% during the second quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 1,037,865 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $45,531,000 after purchasing an additional 28,200 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its holdings in Hess by 6.5% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 223,277 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $9,793,000 after purchasing an additional 13,557 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Artisan Partners Limited Partnership boosted its holdings in Hess by 9.6% during the second quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 5,074,723 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $222,628,000 after purchasing an additional 445,857 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.68% of the company’s stock.

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Hess Company Profile

Hess Corporation is an exploration and production company. The Company is engaged in exploration, development, production, transportation, purchase and sale of crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGL) and natural gas. The Company’s segments include Exploration and Production, and Bakken Midstream. Its Exploration and Production segment explores for, develops, produces, purchases and sells crude oil, NGLs and natural gas with production operations primarily in the United States, Denmark, Equatorial Guinea, the Malaysia/Thailand Joint Development Area (JDA), Malaysia and Norway.

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