The Statoil ASA (STO) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Sell

The Statoil ASA (STO) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Sell

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “The near term prospect for Statoil ASA’s upstream operation seems bleak following the persistent weak commodity prices. Although oil prices has recovered significantly from mid-February lows, a closer look reveals that it is way below the level the commodity was trading in mid-2014. Additionally, OPEC’s September crude production came at a record level, which contradicts the cartel’s pledge to recover oil prices by curbing production in an already over-supplied market. Overall, there might not be any respite to oil prices in the near term that could hinder the company’s upstream business. On top of that, Statoil ASA’s plan to lower 2016 spending for exploration activities may reduce the company’s production. Therefore, we caution investors against this company at this point.”

A number of other analysts also recently commented on STO. Deutsche Bank AG downgraded shares of Statoil ASA from a hold rating to a sell rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $16.43 to $16.64 in a report on Tuesday, June 21st. DNB Markets upgraded shares of Statoil ASA from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Statoil ASA from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a report on Thursday, July 21st. Societe Generale upgraded shares of Statoil ASA from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, HSBC upgraded shares of Statoil ASA from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $15.53.

Shares of Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) traded down 0.06% during trading on Thursday, hitting $16.74. 580,789 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $16.06 and its 200-day moving average is $16.32. The stock’s market cap is $53.25 billion. Statoil ASA has a 12-month low of $10.89 and a 12-month high of $17.94.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 16th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 3rd will be given a $0.2201 dividend. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.26%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 1st. Statoil ASA’s dividend payout ratio is -229.72%.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. acquired a new stake in Statoil ASA during the first quarter valued at approximately $234,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in Statoil ASA by 68.9% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 3,018,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $46,966,000 after buying an additional 1,231,200 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in Statoil ASA by 1.3% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 116,983 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,024,000 after buying an additional 1,491 shares in the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its stake in Statoil ASA by 12.2% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 532,977 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,293,000 after buying an additional 57,795 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Quantbot Technologies LP increased its stake in Statoil ASA by 980.5% in the second quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 47,186 shares of the company’s stock valued at $816,000 after buying an additional 42,819 shares in the last quarter. 5.33% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Statoil ASA

Statoil ASA is an energy company, engaged in oil and gas exploration and production activities. The Company’s segments include Development and Production Norway (DPN), Development and Production USA (DPUSA), Development and Production International (DPI), Marketing, Midstream and Processing (MMP), New Energy Solutions (NES), and Other.

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