Cheniere Energy (LNG) Cut to “Strong Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Cheniere Energy (NYSEAMERICAN:LNG) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report report published on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “With a string of losses likely to dampen investor confidence, we are recalibrating our investment thesis on Cheniere Energy to Strong Sell from Hold. An expansion stage company with high cash outflow and limited predictability, we rate Cheniere Energy as a risky bet going forward. The company is in the business of setting up natural gas liquefication plants, which is a costly affair that requires high capital spending. This has translated into a huge debt burden for the company –  currently at nearly $25 billion – and has raised its risk profile. What's more, Cheniere's leveraged balance sheet is unlikely to improve in the next few years due to low internally generated cash flow. Considering these headwinds, we expect Cheniere Energy to perform below the industry, which gives investors little reason to hold the stock.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the company. BidaskClub raised Cheniere Energy from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. Citigroup increased their price target on Cheniere Energy from $57.00 to $59.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, November 16th. Scotiabank reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Cheniere Energy in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Cowen started coverage on Cheniere Energy in a report on Friday, November 17th. They issued a market perform rating and a $56.00 price target for the company. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their price target on Cheniere Energy from $36.00 to $35.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. Cheniere Energy presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $54.46.

Cheniere Energy (NYSEAMERICAN LNG) opened at $55.01 on Tuesday. Cheniere Energy has a fifty-two week low of $40.36 and a fifty-two week high of $56.14. The company has a market capitalization of $13,070.00, a P/E ratio of -31.26 and a beta of 1.81.

Cheniere Energy (NYSEAMERICAN:LNG) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, November 14th. The energy company reported ($1.24) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.16) by ($1.08). The business had revenue of $1.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.27 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned ($0.41) earnings per share. Cheniere Energy’s revenue was up 201.7% on a year-over-year basis.

In related news, Director Vicky A. Bailey sold 5,800 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.44, for a total value of $315,752.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 35,765 shares in the company, valued at $1,947,046.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Nuno Brandolini sold 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.02, for a total value of $1,000,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 232,271 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,618,195.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 45,800 shares of company stock valued at $2,299,152 over the last quarter.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LNG. FMR LLC boosted its position in shares of Cheniere Energy by 482.7% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,741,287 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $328,368,000 after buying an additional 5,584,446 shares during the period. CI Investments Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Cheniere Energy during the third quarter worth $120,279,000. Cohen & Steers Inc. boosted its position in shares of Cheniere Energy by 92.1% during the third quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 2,655,409 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $119,600,000 after buying an additional 1,273,441 shares during the period. Kensico Capital Management Corp boosted its position in shares of Cheniere Energy by 8.7% during the third quarter. Kensico Capital Management Corp now owns 12,185,000 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $548,812,000 after buying an additional 973,400 shares during the period. Finally, Point72 Asset Management L.P. boosted its position in shares of Cheniere Energy by 899.3% during the third quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 1,050,944 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $47,335,000 after buying an additional 945,777 shares during the period.

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Cheniere Energy Company Profile

Cheniere Energy, Inc (Cheniere) is an energy company primarily engaged in liquefied natural gas (LNG)-related businesses. The Company operates through two segments: LNG terminal business, and LNG and natural gas marketing business. Its LNG terminal segment consists of the Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi LNG terminals.

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