Magnum Hunter Resources
Shares of Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. (NYSE: MHR) were raised to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey on Thursday. What stood out in the analyst report was a doubling of the firm’s price target to $4. This represents some 66% upside, if the firm is correct, and it is only $0.11 above the consensus analyst target.
Magnum Hunter is a small cap stock, under $500 million in market cap, and its 52-week trading range is $1.60 to $9.10. The target move was based on upcoming liquidity-generating financial transactions and improving well returns. The analyst report also specified that it is looking for Magnum to announce at least one deal in the coming weeks that should generate at least $35 million.
Sterne Agee on Thursday reiterated Rice Energy Inc. (NYSE: RICE) as a Buy. Of particular interest was the whopping $30 price target. The call was based on no earnings surprise after a pre-announcement, as well as the notion that the Utica operations validated the dry gas fairway and that MLP drop-down options have emerged.
Rice was trading at $17.96 before the call, and shares were at $18.75 afterward on Thursday. That implies upside of 60%, if Sterne Agee is right. The consensus price target is above $27.50. Shares have traded between $16.04 and $34.34 in the past year.
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Monday, Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO) was raised to Buy from Neutral at UBS. Statoil’s prior close was $18.32, but the stock was closer to $17 by mid-week, and shares were under $16.50 mid-Friday. The consensus price target was just above $22.50 at the time of the call.
Analysts do not really pull their targets due to a one-week price adjustment, but this past week brought nearly a 10% haircut to the price of the American depositary shares (ADSs). Statoil’s 52-week trading range in New York is $15.76 to $31.95.
Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) comes with a big caveat — it just did not work out the way many investors were expecting this week. Whiting was raised to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim on Monday on the heels of possible buyout reports. The price target was put at $40 in the call, versus $34.03 as the prior close.
Shares were down sharply on Friday on news that Whiting was more likely to pursue a sale of some assets rather than an outright sale of the company. This may negate any “upgrades” or have analysts changing their tune.
Whiting shares were down over 8% at $35.00 late on Friday, against a 52-week range of $24.13 to $92.92. Its consensus price target is just under $46.
Blueknight Energy Partners
This small cap MLP ($245 million) has only very limited analyst coverage so far. That is why we have featured it here, last on the list, rather than in its alphabetical place.
Oklahoma City-based Blueknight Energy Partners L.P. (NASDAQ: BKEP) was started as Outperform with a $10 price target at RBC Capital Markets on Friday. Its yield equivalent (distribution) is listed as more than 7%, and the price was $7.50 mid-Friday, after close to a 1% gain. Blueknight has a 52-week trading range of $5.48 to $9.50, and the units were at $7.75 a week earlier.
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After looking at most of the calls and the direction the markets were in this week, these analysts probably wish they could use the stock prices of Friday, March 13, rather than prices earlier in the week.
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