Berry Petroleum Company LLC (NASDAQ:BRY) saw a large increase in short interest in the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 2,430,000 shares, an increase of 15.7% from the December 15th total of 2,100,000 shares. Currently, 3.0% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 909,300 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.7 days.
In related news, Director Benefit Street Partners Llc sold 1,100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $11.30, for a total transaction of $12,430,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Anne L. Mariucci bought 13,403 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 27th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $7.47 per share, with a total value of $100,120.41. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 19,772 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $147,696.84. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders bought 54,403 shares of company stock valued at $389,270 and sold 1,481,871 shares valued at $15,675,892. Corporate insiders own 0.59% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in Berry Petroleum by 2.1% in the 3rd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 110,060 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $1,030,000 after buying an additional 2,272 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in Berry Petroleum by 3.7% in the 2nd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 68,461 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $726,000 after buying an additional 2,446 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Berry Petroleum by 20.3% in the 2nd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 20,091 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $213,000 after buying an additional 3,396 shares during the period. Wealthsource Partners LLC increased its stake in Berry Petroleum by 24.6% in the 3rd quarter. Wealthsource Partners LLC now owns 23,545 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $220,000 after buying an additional 4,650 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake in Berry Petroleum by 496.1% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 6,122 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $65,000 after buying an additional 5,095 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 97.99% of the company’s stock.
Berry Petroleum (NASDAQ:BRY) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 7th. The energy company reported $0.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.39 by $0.01. Berry Petroleum had a net margin of 25.26% and a return on equity of 11.49%. The business had revenue of $194.67 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $160.70 million. Sell-side analysts predict that Berry Petroleum will post 1.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.12 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 12th. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.61%. Berry Petroleum’s dividend payout ratio is currently 38.10%.
Several research firms recently commented on BRY. ValuEngine raised shares of Berry Petroleum from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday. Wells Fargo & Co increased their target price on shares of Berry Petroleum from $9.00 to $11.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 9th. Tudor Pickering lowered shares of Berry Petroleum from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $11.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, November 20th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Berry Petroleum from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 12th. Finally, Johnson Rice lowered shares of Berry Petroleum from a “buy” rating to an “accumulate” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 19th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $11.06.
About Berry Petroleum
Berry Petroleum Company, LLC., formerly Berry Petroleum Company, is an independent energy company. The Company is engaged in the production, development, exploitation, and acquisition of oil and natural gas. The Company’s principal reserves and producing properties are located in California (South Midway-Sunset (SMWSS)-Steam Floods, North Midway-Sunset (NMWSS)-Diatomite, NMWSS-New Steam Floods, Texas (Permian and E.
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