Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Alon USA Energy Inc. (NYSE:ALJ) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Alon USA Energy, Inc. is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, operating primarily in the Southwestern and South Central regions of the United States. Alon markets gasoline and diesel products under the FINA brand name and is a leading producer of asphalt in the State of Texas. The Company also operates convenience stores in West Texas and New Mexico under the 7-Eleven and FINA brand names and supplies motor fuels to these stores from its Big Spring refinery. “

Analyst Recommendations for Alon USA Energy (NYSE:ALJ)

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on ALJ. Barclays PLC raised shares of Alon USA Energy from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating and reduced their price target for the company from $10.00 to $8.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their target price on shares of Alon USA Energy from $8.00 to $7.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, June 10th. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $9.00 target price on shares of Alon USA Energy in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Wells Fargo & Co. reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Alon USA Energy in a research note on Sunday, July 10th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. upped their target price on shares of Alon USA Energy from $4.00 to $5.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a research note on Monday, August 22nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $9.19.

Alon USA Energy (NYSE:ALJ) opened at 8.64 on Wednesday. The stock’s market cap is $613.27 million. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $7.69 and a 200-day moving average of $8.38. Alon USA Energy has a 12-month low of $5.86 and a 12-month high of $19.84.

Alon USA Energy (NYSE:ALJ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported ($0.21) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.19) by $0.02. The company earned $1.01 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $883.85 million. Alon USA Energy had a negative net margin of 1.75% and a negative return on equity of 2.29%. Alon USA Energy’s revenue was down 22.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.67 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Alon USA Energy will post ($1.10) earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 19th were issued a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 6.94%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 17th. Alon USA Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -61.86%.

In other Alon USA Energy news, insider David Wiessman sold 105,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $7.33, for a total transaction of $769,650.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 2,580,541 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,915,365.53. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Michael Oster sold 18,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $7.33, for a total transaction of $135,605.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 47,553 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $348,563.49. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 8.80% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its position in Alon USA Energy by 16.2% in the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 47,943 shares of the company’s stock valued at $494,000 after buying an additional 6,677 shares during the period. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its position in Alon USA Energy by 35.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 14,599 shares of the company’s stock valued at $150,000 after buying an additional 3,837 shares during the period. Parametrica Management Ltd purchased a new position in Alon USA Energy during the first quarter valued at approximately $200,000. UBS Group AG boosted its position in Alon USA Energy by 67.8% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 587,220 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,060,000 after buying an additional 237,365 shares during the period. Finally, Mount Lucas Management LP boosted its position in Alon USA Energy by 11.9% in the first quarter. Mount Lucas Management LP now owns 69,447 shares of the company’s stock valued at $717,000 after buying an additional 7,409 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 50.46% of the company’s stock.

About Alon USA Energy

Alon USA Energy, Inc is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, operating primarily in the South Central, Southwestern and Western regions of the United States. The Company operates through three segments: refining and marketing, asphalt and retail. Its refineries produce petroleum products, including various grades of gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, petrochemicals, petrochemical feedstocks, asphalt and other petroleum-based products.

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