Halliburton Company (HAL) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, July 11th.

According to Zacks, “Halliburton shares have suffered this year, declining around 22% year-to date, to reflect the commodity's price slide and uneven outlook. The sluggish international outlook – reflecting lower activity and pricing pressure – is expected to dampen investor confidence. Further, the company's cash reserves are also dropping providing it with lesser financial flexibility. Moreover, with the failure of BHI acquisition, HAL had to book a massive $3.5 billion in breakup charges that stretched its balance sheet. The company's high debt levels is likely to affect its credit metrics adversly. Halliburton was also forced to discontinue its operations in Venexuela which will further hurt its revenues and financials negatively. Given these headwinds, we see Halliburton as a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit.”

HAL has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Jefferies Group LLC set a $69.00 price target on shares of Halliburton and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, April 24th. BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 price target on shares of Halliburton and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, April 24th. Deutsche Bank AG dropped their price target on shares of Halliburton from $64.00 to $57.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, April 25th. HSBC Holdings plc began coverage on shares of Halliburton in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. They set a buy rating and a $65.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Halliburton in a report on Monday, April 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, twenty-eight have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $59.60.

Shares of Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) opened at 40.02 on Tuesday. Halliburton has a one year low of $40.00 and a one year high of $58.78. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $42.63 and a 200-day moving average of $47.79. The company’s market capitalization is $34.88 billion.

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, July 24th. The oilfield services company reported $0.23 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.18 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $4.96 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.86 billion. Halliburton had a negative net margin of 0.86% and a positive return on equity of 2.97%. Halliburton’s revenue was up 29.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned ($0.14) EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Halliburton will post $1.12 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 27th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, September 6th will be paid a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.80%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 1st. Halliburton’s payout ratio is -423.50%.

In related news, Director William E. Albrecht bought 8,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 15th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $46.33 per share, with a total value of $370,640.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 8,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $370,640. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. 0.46% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of HAL. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Halliburton by 2,760.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 51,835,128 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $2,550,805,000 after buying an additional 50,022,982 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Halliburton during the fourth quarter worth about $488,738,000. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in shares of Halliburton by 107.8% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 15,623,103 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $667,362,000 after buying an additional 8,105,286 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its stake in shares of Halliburton by 35.1% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 14,813,901 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $632,678,000 after buying an additional 3,844,946 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Putnam Investments LLC raised its stake in shares of Halliburton by 183.6% in the fourth quarter. Putnam Investments LLC now owns 3,803,227 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $205,716,000 after buying an additional 2,462,332 shares in the last quarter. 79.67% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Halliburton

Halliburton Company provides services and products to the upstream oil and natural gas industry throughout the lifecycle of the reservoir, from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data, to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production throughout the life of the field.

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