QEP Resources Inc. (NYSE:QEP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “With a diversified asset base, exposure to emerging plays and quality acreage in multiple basins, this mid-cap onshore-focused E&P offers a compelling value. Since its split from Questar Corp. in 2010, QEP has established a strong track record of production growth, while maintaining a competitive cost structure. The split of its midstream segment is expected to further enhance shareholder worth. However, the natural gas-heavy production mix currently clouds QEP’s value and is the main factor behind our cautious stance. Moreover, the oil price slump has adversely affected the group’s earnings and cash flows. Consequently, until the external environment challenges subside, we see limited upside for QEP shares from current levels.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on QEP. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of QEP Resources in a research note on Wednesday, June 22nd. KLR Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $32.00 price target (up previously from $31.00) on shares of QEP Resources in a research note on Tuesday, August 2nd. Barclays PLC raised QEP Resources from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price target for the company from $17.00 to $22.00 in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Simmons raised QEP Resources from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price target for the company from $20.00 to $24.00 in a research note on Wednesday, June 15th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upgraded QEP Resources from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $18.00 to $24.00 in a report on Monday, July 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $22.14.

Shares of QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP) traded down 0.12% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $17.07. 1,421,125 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $18.91 and a 200-day moving average price of $17.10. The company’s market capitalization is $4.09 billion. QEP Resources has a 1-year low of $8.54 and a 1-year high of $20.96.

QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported ($0.23) EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.35) by $0.12. The company had revenue of $333.70 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $362.17 million. QEP Resources had a negative return on equity of 4.04% and a negative net margin of 67.39%. The business’s revenue was down 41.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.09 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that QEP Resources will post ($1.19) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Charles B. Stanley purchased 16,763 shares of QEP Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 30th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $17.85 per share, with a total value of $299,219.55. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.36% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its position in shares of QEP Resources by 33.9% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 27,715,828 shares of the company’s stock valued at $391,071,000 after buying an additional 7,013,529 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of QEP Resources by 19.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 17,482,358 shares of the company’s stock valued at $308,213,000 after buying an additional 2,810,845 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its position in shares of QEP Resources by 21.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 8,498,031 shares of the company’s stock valued at $149,820,000 after buying an additional 1,515,475 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of QEP Resources by 3.8% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 7,808,443 shares of the company’s stock valued at $137,666,000 after buying an additional 287,527 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its position in shares of QEP Resources by 9.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 6,372,496 shares of the company’s stock valued at $112,347,000 after buying an additional 546,750 shares during the period. 88.71% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About QEP Resources

QEP Resources, Inc (QEP) is a holding company with two subsidiaries, QEP Energy Company and QEP Marketing Company, which are engaged in two primary lines of business: oil and gas exploration and production (QEP Energy), and oil and gas marketing, operation of a gas gathering system and an underground gas storage facility, and corporate activities (QEP Marketing and Other).

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