Hess Corporation (HES) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Wednesday. They currently have $49.00 price target on the oil and gas producer’s stock.

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. We should also note that Hess reported better-than-expected results in third-quarter 2017 on the back of higher oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids price realizations. 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.”

HES has been the subject of several other reports. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Hess Corporation from $43.00 to $49.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Citigroup Inc decreased their price objective on Hess Corporation from $55.00 to $49.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a report on Friday, July 21st. Scotiabank set a $52.00 price objective on Hess Corporation and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. J P Morgan Chase & Co downgraded Hess Corporation from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $52.00 to $45.00 in a report on Thursday, September 14th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and issued a $42.00 price objective on shares of Hess Corporation in a report on Friday, September 1st. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Hess Corporation presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $51.66.

Shares of Hess Corporation (HES) traded up $1.16 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $45.46. 5,034,258 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,526,197. The company has a quick ratio of 1.84, a current ratio of 1.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55.

Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The oil and gas producer reported ($1.07) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($1.29) by $0.22. The firm had revenue of $1.67 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.27 billion. Hess Corporation had a negative return on equity of 9.69% and a negative net margin of 113.21%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 39.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted ($1.12) earnings per share. analysts forecast that Hess Corporation will post -4.75 EPS for the current year.

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In other Hess Corporation news, insider Barbara J. Lowery-Yilmaz sold 3,873 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.47, for a total value of $168,359.31. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, COO Gregory P. Hill sold 11,726 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.37, for a total value of $449,926.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 21,599 shares of company stock valued at $873,466 in the last quarter. 11.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Condor Capital Management grew its holdings in Hess Corporation by 0.3% in the second quarter. Condor Capital Management now owns 13,579 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $596,000 after purchasing an additional 39 shares during the last quarter. Welch & Forbes LLC grew its holdings in Hess Corporation by 1.0% in the second quarter. Welch & Forbes LLC now owns 4,668 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $205,000 after purchasing an additional 46 shares during the last quarter. Bollard Group LLC grew its holdings in Hess Corporation by 0.6% in the second quarter. Bollard Group LLC now owns 10,462 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $459,000 after purchasing an additional 62 shares during the last quarter. Linscomb & Williams Inc. grew its holdings in Hess Corporation by 0.3% in the second quarter. Linscomb & Williams Inc. now owns 21,171 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $929,000 after purchasing an additional 71 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Conning Inc. grew its holdings in Hess Corporation by 1.3% in the second quarter. Conning Inc. now owns 7,687 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $337,000 after purchasing an additional 99 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.89% of the company’s stock.

About Hess Corporation

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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