HollyFrontier (HFC) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “HollyFrontier is one of the largest independent oil refiners in the U.S. with the capability to process a wide mix of crude. While its access to some of the fastest growing domestic markets bode well for the downstream operator, the Petro-Canada Lubricants acquisition has helped HollyFrontier expand into a high-margin, less competitive business. A strong financial position and attractive yields are other positives in the HFC story. However, HollyFrontier has been bogged down by lingering issues pertaining to the refining margins, plus cost escalation associated with maintenance downtime and unplanned refinery shutdowns. As it is, we remain wary of the continued pressure on HollyFrontier's top line. Last but not the least, the U.S. refiners are feeling the pinch of higher RFS costs to comply with new cleaner gasoline production rules. Given these factors, we see HFC as a stock that ordinary investors should hold.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. TheStreet raised HollyFrontier from a c+ rating to a b rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Scotiabank reiterated a buy rating and issued a $39.00 price objective on shares of HollyFrontier in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Tudor Pickering upgraded HollyFrontier from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Monday, October 9th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a buy rating and issued a $42.00 price objective on shares of HollyFrontier in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded HollyFrontier from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. HollyFrontier currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $42.14.

Shares of HollyFrontier (NYSE HFC) opened at $51.25 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a current ratio of 2.00. HollyFrontier has a 52 week low of $23.46 and a 52 week high of $52.06. The stock has a market capitalization of $9,035.61, a PE ratio of 32.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 1.31.

HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The oil and gas company reported $1.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.89 by $0.25. HollyFrontier had a return on equity of 5.18% and a net margin of 2.55%. The firm had revenue of $3.72 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.24 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.42 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 30.6% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that HollyFrontier will post 2.38 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 13th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, November 21st were issued a $0.33 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, November 20th. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.58%. HollyFrontier’s dividend payout ratio is currently 69.47%.

In related news, SVP James M. Stump sold 30,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.21, for a total transaction of $1,536,300.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 41,849 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,143,087.29. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Michael Jennings sold 4,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.50, for a total value of $200,250.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 49,717 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,212,406.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 69,649 shares of company stock worth $3,515,728. 0.51% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its holdings in shares of HollyFrontier by 9.8% during the 3rd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 718,207 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $25,834,000 after acquiring an additional 64,104 shares during the period. Sterling Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of HollyFrontier during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $3,704,000. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its holdings in shares of HollyFrontier by 1.7% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 736,735 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $26,500,000 after acquiring an additional 12,435 shares during the period. Caxton Associates LP purchased a new position in shares of HollyFrontier during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $4,424,000. Finally, Vident Investment Advisory LLC grew its holdings in shares of HollyFrontier by 14.1% during the 3rd quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC now owns 94,715 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $3,407,000 after acquiring an additional 11,684 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 83.21% of the company’s stock.

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About HollyFrontier

HollyFrontier Corporation is an independent petroleum refiner. The Company produces various light products, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, specialty lubricant products, and specialty and modified asphalt. It segments include Refining and Holly Energy Partners, L.P. (HEP). The Refining segment includes the operations of the Company’s El Dorado, Kansas (the El Dorado Refinery); refinery facilities located in Tulsa, Oklahoma (collectively, the Tulsa Refineries); a refinery in Artesia, New Mexico that is operated in conjunction with crude oil distillation and vacuum distillation and other facilities situated 65 miles away in Lovington, New Mexico (collectively, the Navajo Refinery); refinery located in Cheyenne, Wyoming (the Cheyenne Refinery); a refinery in Woods Cross, Utah (the Woods Cross Refinery), and HollyFrontier Asphalt Company (HFC Asphalt).

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