Argus upgraded shares of Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Argus currently has $39.00 price objective on the oil and gas development company’s stock.
A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on NBL. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on Noble Energy from $36.00 to $39.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Credit Suisse Group set a $40.00 price target on Noble Energy and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 23rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Stifel Nicolaus set a $40.00 price target on Noble Energy and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, January 29th. Jefferies Group set a $38.00 price target on Noble Energy and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 30th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a buy rating and set a $41.00 price target on shares of Noble Energy in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and twenty-one have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $40.52.
Noble Energy (NBL) opened at $30.18 on Tuesday. Noble Energy has a 12 month low of $22.99 and a 12 month high of $35.74. The company has a quick ratio of 1.27, a current ratio of 1.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64. The company has a market capitalization of $15,198.89, a PE ratio of -12.63 and a beta of 1.10.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, February 26th. Investors of record on Monday, February 12th were given a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 9th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.33%. Noble Energy’s payout ratio is -16.74%.
Noble Energy announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, February 15th that permits the company to repurchase $750.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the oil and gas development company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Noble Energy news, CFO Kenneth M. Fisher sold 7,621 shares of Noble Energy stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.80, for a total value of $219,484.80. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 197,144 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,677,747.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director James E. Craddock sold 8,500 shares of Noble Energy stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.35, for a total value of $266,475.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 93,413 shares in the company, valued at $2,928,497.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.96% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB increased its stake in Noble Energy by 14.8% in the 4th quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 47,308 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $1,379,000 after purchasing an additional 6,105 shares during the period. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp increased its stake in Noble Energy by 14.3% in the 4th quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 225,333 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $6,566,000 after purchasing an additional 28,191 shares during the period. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. increased its stake in Noble Energy by 45.7% in the 4th quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 28,702 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $836,000 after purchasing an additional 9,000 shares during the period. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp increased its stake in Noble Energy by 17.3% in the 4th quarter. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp now owns 275,700 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $8,034,000 after purchasing an additional 40,700 shares during the period. Finally, MetLife Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Noble Energy in the 4th quarter worth approximately $4,387,000. 95.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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Noble Energy Company Profile
Noble Energy, Inc is an independent energy company. The Company is engaged in crude oil, natural gas and natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) exploration, development, production and acquisition. The Company’s segments include: United States, including the onshore DJ Basin, Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Marcellus Shale and offshore deepwater Gulf of Mexico, as well as the consolidated accounts of Noble Midstream Partners LP (Noble Midstream Partners); Eastern Mediterranean, including offshore Israel and Cyprus; West Africa, including offshore Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Gabon, and Other International and Corporate, including new ventures, such as offshore the Falkland Islands, Suriname and Newfoundland.
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