Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “Among independent refiners, Valero has the most diversified refinery base. Also, Valero’s dividend yield is attractive and is much higher than the industry. It is to be noted that improving throughput volume on the back of higher refinery utilization rates has been rewarding Valero over the past four quarters. Following this development, the company managed to surpass the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the prior four quarters. Also, Valero’s price performance looks lucrative as reflected by the company’s 30.6% gain over the past year as compared with 14.3% improvement of the industry. However, we are concerned about the company’s escalating debt levels over the past six quarters. Also, increased operating expenses in the first half of 2017 owing to heavy maintenance activities is a concern.”
A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. US Capital Advisors downgraded Valero Energy Corporation from an overweight rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. BidaskClub upgraded Valero Energy Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Macquarie restated a neutral rating on shares of Valero Energy Corporation in a research report on Monday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Deutsche Bank AG restated a hold rating and set a $73.00 price target (up previously from $65.00) on shares of Valero Energy Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, Citigroup Inc lowered their price target on Valero Energy Corporation from $70.00 to $68.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 17th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $76.39.
Valero Energy Corporation (VLO) traded down 1.6751% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $76.3788. The stock had a trading volume of 3,184,347 shares. Valero Energy Corporation has a 52 week low of $57.40 and a 52 week high of $78.64. The stock has a market capitalization of $33.73 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.8543 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a 50-day moving average of $74.98 and a 200-day moving average of $68.29.
Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The oil and gas company reported $1.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.83 by $0.08. Valero Energy Corporation had a return on equity of 8.59% and a net margin of 2.17%. The company had revenue of $23.56 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $19.42 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.24 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 19.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Valero Energy Corporation will post $4.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In related news, Director Stephen M. Waters sold 656 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.86, for a total value of $49,764.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Michael S. Ciskowski sold 53,012 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.88, for a total value of $3,863,514.56. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 67,413 shares in the company, valued at $4,913,059.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 55,168 shares of company stock worth $4,015,279 over the last three months. 0.45% of the stock is owned by insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of VLO. Waldron LP boosted its position in Valero Energy Corporation by 45.7% during the 1st quarter. Waldron LP now owns 8,455 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $560,000 after acquiring an additional 2,650 shares in the last quarter. American International Group Inc. boosted its position in Valero Energy Corporation by 1.4% during the 1st quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 7,539,695 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $499,806,000 after acquiring an additional 102,794 shares in the last quarter. Concert Wealth Management Inc. boosted its position in Valero Energy Corporation by 10.3% during the 1st quarter. Concert Wealth Management Inc. now owns 19,016 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $1,295,000 after acquiring an additional 1,777 shares in the last quarter. Bancorpsouth Inc. boosted its position in Valero Energy Corporation by 2.8% during the 1st quarter. Bancorpsouth Inc. now owns 46,507 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $3,083,000 after acquiring an additional 1,280 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Kwmg LLC boosted its position in Valero Energy Corporation by 37.8% during the 1st quarter. Kwmg LLC now owns 23,249 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $1,541,000 after acquiring an additional 6,376 shares in the last quarter. 80.59% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About Valero Energy Corporation
Valero Energy Corporation (Valero) is an independent petroleum refiner and ethanol producer. The Company’s segments include refining, ethanol and Valero Energy Partners LP (VLP). The refining segment includes its refining operations and the associated marketing activities. The ethanol segment includes its ethanol operations and the associated marketing activities, and logistics assets that support its ethanol operations.