Apache (NYSE:APA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $50.00 price objective on the energy company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 12.64% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Apache’s large geographically diversified reserve base and high-quality drilling inventory bode well. The company’s increased focus on the Permian basin- known for its high internal rates of return and low costs is the real driver. The exit from Canadian operations has freed up substantial capital for further expansion in the Permian basin, especially Apache’s Alpine High play. Estimated to hold massive oil and natural gas reserves, Alpine High discovery is expected to be a game-changer for APA. After aligning its spending plans with the low-price environment over the past few years, APA has now raised its capital budget to exploit growth opportunities. In fact, it also inked a deal to advance the midstream infrastructural development in the Alpine High region, which will enable it to remain on the growth trajectory. Hence, APA is viewed as an attractive pick as of now.”

APA has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Morgan Stanley started coverage on shares of Apache in a report on Thursday, July 12th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $42.00 price objective for the company. Stifel Nicolaus set a $46.00 price objective on shares of Apache and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 19th. Cowen set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Apache and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 19th. Mizuho started coverage on shares of Apache in a report on Monday, July 23rd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $55.00 price objective for the company. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of Apache from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 1st. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $46.61.

Shares of APA stock traded down $0.18 on Tuesday, hitting $44.39. The stock had a trading volume of 89,746 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,052,466. The company has a market cap of $18.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 184.96, a P/E/G ratio of 6.15 and a beta of 1.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 1.36 and a quick ratio of 1.20. Apache has a 12-month low of $33.60 and a 12-month high of $50.03.

Apache (NYSE:APA) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 1st. The energy company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.39 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $1.93 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.76 billion. Apache had a net margin of 12.57% and a return on equity of 5.21%. As a group, research analysts expect that Apache will post 1.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Apache news, insider Stephen J. Riney bought 6,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 27th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $43.51 per share, for a total transaction of $274,113.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 42,184 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,835,425.84. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Dominic Ricotta sold 3,480 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.72, for a total transaction of $152,145.60. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 10,357 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $452,808.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.59% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of APA. Baillie Gifford & Co. boosted its position in Apache by 76.2% during the second quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 24,490,129 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $1,144,913,000 after purchasing an additional 10,592,806 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Apache by 71.0% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,644,974 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $170,375,000 after acquiring an additional 1,512,960 shares during the period. Howard Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Apache in the first quarter valued at approximately $9,511,000. Sei Investments Co. boosted its position in shares of Apache by 4,112.2% in the second quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 238,538 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $11,152,000 after acquiring an additional 232,875 shares during the period. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Apache by 38.1% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 727,185 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $33,996,000 after acquiring an additional 200,603 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.74% of the company’s stock.

About Apache

Apache Corporation, an independent energy company, explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids (NGLs). The company has operations in onshore assets located Permian and Midcontinent/Gulf Coast onshore regions; and offshore assets situated in the Gulf of Mexico region.

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