Golar LNG (GLNG) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Golar LNG (NASDAQ:GLNG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Golar LNG's fourth-quarter results are likely to get a boost on the back of improved shipping activity. Fourth-quarter TCE (Time Charter Equivalent) is expected in the band of $70,000 – $80,000, almost double the third quarter figure of $41,200. The company is already seeing a significant increase in free cash flow from the onset of Hilli Episeyo operation as well as other positive factors. We are also encouraged by the company's efforts to reward shareholders in the form of dividend payments. Despite such positives, the company's high operating expenses are expected to dent bottom-line growth in the fourth quarter. Moreover, the shipping space is highly competitive and it can become a hindrance to growth. In fact, shares of the company have declined 14.9% in the last six months.”

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of Golar LNG from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Saturday, September 22nd. Cowen set a $41.00 target price on shares of Golar LNG and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Sunday, December 23rd. Stifel Nicolaus set a $36.00 target price on shares of Golar LNG and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, December 20th. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a buy rating on shares of Golar LNG in a report on Friday, December 7th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of Golar LNG from $32.00 to $35.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, November 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $34.55.

NASDAQ GLNG traded up $0.62 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $23.14. 810,413 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,029,624. Golar LNG has a 12 month low of $20.49 and a 12 month high of $35.54. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 0.62 and a quick ratio of 0.62. The company has a market capitalization of $2.28 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -15.84 and a beta of 0.82.

Golar LNG (NASDAQ:GLNG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 5th. The shipping company reported ($0.11) EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.11). Golar LNG had a net margin of 27.87% and a negative return on equity of 4.34%. The firm had revenue of $123.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $86.58 million. As a group, analysts anticipate that Golar LNG will post -0.99 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, January 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 14th were given a dividend of $0.15 per share. This is a positive change from Golar LNG’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 13th. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.59%. Golar LNG’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -40.82%.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of GLNG. Mount Yale Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Golar LNG during the 2nd quarter valued at about $106,000. Sei Investments Co. boosted its holdings in shares of Golar LNG by 104.5% in the second quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 5,326 shares of the shipping company’s stock worth $156,000 after buying an additional 2,721 shares during the period. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in shares of Golar LNG in the third quarter worth about $192,000. Virtus Alternative Investment Advisers Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Golar LNG in the third quarter worth about $217,000. Finally, Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Golar LNG in the third quarter worth about $250,000. Institutional investors own 78.13% of the company’s stock.

About Golar LNG

Golar LNG Limited, a midstream liquefied natural gas (LNG) company, engages in the transportation, regasification, and liquefaction of LNG. It operates through three segments: Vessel operations, Floating Liquefaction Natural Gas Vessel (FLNG), and Power. The company engages in the acquisition, ownership, operation, and chartering of LNG carriers and floating storage regasification units (FSRUs); and the development of LNG projects.

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