Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) has earned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the twenty-six analysts that are presently covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have issued a hold recommendation and twenty-one have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $41.20.
Several analysts have commented on the stock. Capital One Financial upgraded shares of Noble Energy from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. ValuEngine cut shares of Noble Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Deutsche Bank set a $40.00 target price on shares of Noble Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 21st. Credit Suisse Group assumed coverage on shares of Noble Energy in a research report on Monday, December 11th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $35.00 target price for the company. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $37.00 target price on shares of Noble Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 23rd.
NBL stock traded down $0.31 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $30.24. 5,835,668 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,876,178. The company has a quick ratio of 1.27, a current ratio of 1.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64. Noble Energy has a 1 year low of $22.99 and a 1 year high of $35.74. The company has a market cap of $15,036.46, a PE ratio of -12.65 and a beta of 1.10.
Noble Energy announced that its board has approved a share buyback plan 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 plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, February 26th. Investors of record on Monday, February 12th were given a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.32%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 9th. Noble Energy’s dividend payout ratio is currently -16.74%.
In related news, Director James E. Craddock sold 8,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 9th. The shares were 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,928,497.55. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Kenneth M. Fisher sold 7,621 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.80, for a total transaction of $219,484.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 197,144 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,677,747.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.96% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in NBL. Sawyer & Company Inc acquired a new position in Noble Energy in the 4th quarter worth $169,000. Lourd Capital LLC acquired a new position in Noble Energy in the 4th quarter worth $203,000. Levin Capital Strategies L.P. acquired a new position in Noble Energy in the 4th quarter worth $219,000. FDx Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in Noble Energy in the 4th quarter worth $231,000. Finally, Assetmark Inc. boosted its stake in Noble Energy by 355.5% in the 4th quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 8,558 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $249,000 after purchasing an additional 6,679 shares during the period. 95.64% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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About Noble Energy
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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