8 Big Oil and Gas Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades Too Big to Ignore

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CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust Inc. (NYSE: CORR) was raised to Buy from Hold at Stifel on June 1. The firm also has a $32 price target, 33% higher than the prior $24.05 close. This trust has a current annualized dividend of $3 per share as well, so the upside may be even larger here. Just don’t forget about the bankruptcy of a the parent company of its largest tenant. CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust’s 52-week trading range of $10.90 to $35.00 should show just how volatile this one is.

NGL Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: NGL) was raised to Buy from Hold at Stifel on June 3. It was assigned an $18 price target, compared with a prior $16.63 closing price. Investors will want to consider that NGL is still listed as having a distribution yield-equivalent of close to 10%, so the implied upside here might be much more than just the price appreciation. The consensus analyst target is much lower, down at $15.00, and the 52-week range is $5.57 to $33.64.

Weatherford International PLC (NYSE: WFT) saw two different calls this past week. Simmons raised its rating to Overweight and its price target to $8.00 from $7.20. Wells Fargo reiterated its Market Perform rating, but the firm increased its valuation range to $5.50 to $7.00 from the prior $5.00 to $6.50 after an exchangeable note offering improved its liquidity. Shares closed out the week at $6.12 after a 3.9% gain on Friday, and the 52-week range is $4.71 to $14.42. The consensus analyst price target is $7.93.

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Merrill Lynch’s Exxon Mobil downgrade was to Neutral from Buy. After an $89.24 close, the firm said that Exxon’s outperformance has lifted the shares within sight of the firm’s $96 price objective for a fair value. The thesis of improving E&P margins is said to be intact, but it perhaps has been discounted by Exxon’s role in reducing energy underweights. Exxon was also removed from a so-called Value 10 list of stocks at Merrill Lynch.

Great Plains Energy Inc. (NYSE: GXP) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight with a $28 price target at Barclays on June 2. The prior close was $28.97, but the stock was down over 2% to as low as $28.33 on the day of the downgrade. The stock ended the week at $28.50, and it has a 52-week range of $24.06 to $32.74.

Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: PTEN) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse on June 1. This came with a downside price target of $15, versus a prior closing price of $18.61. As a reminder, Underperform is this firm’s equivalent of a Sell rating. The shares were down at $18.22 on the day of this downgrade, and the following day the stock was under the $18 mark. It closed out the week at $18.27, after rising 1.7% on Friday. Its 52-week range is $10.94 to $21.55, and the consensus price target is now $19.39.