Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Hess has made world-class oil discoveries at the Stabroek Block, located off the coast of Guyana. The company estimated the gross recoverable resources from the block at 2.25-2.75 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Also, Hess is among the leading producers of crude in the Bakken oil shale play in North Dakota. The company has interests in the best areas of the play. On top of that, the company’s total operating expenses during the first nine months of 2017 fell 33% from the year-ago period. We also appreciate Hess’s decision to divest non-core assets to focus more on projects with long-term prospects. However, the company’s price chart reveals that shares have underperformed the broader industry, year to date. Moreover, the rising debt since 2012, reflects its balance sheet weakness.”

HES has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Barclays PLC reissued an equal weight rating and set a $50.00 price objective (down previously from $61.00) on shares of Hess Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. J P Morgan Chase & Co cut shares of Hess Corporation from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $52.00 to $45.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and set a $42.00 price objective on shares of Hess Corporation in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Citigroup Inc. lowered their target price on shares of Hess Corporation from $55.00 to $49.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a report on Friday, July 21st. Finally, Cowen and Company set a $50.00 target price on shares of Hess Corporation and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $51.92.

Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES) traded down $0.42 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $47.11. 2,155,600 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,824,378. The company has a current ratio of 1.84, a quick ratio of 1.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. Hess Corporation has a one year low of $37.25 and a one year high of $65.56.

Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The oil and gas producer reported ($1.07) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($1.29) by $0.22. The company had revenue of $1.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.27 billion. Hess Corporation had a negative net margin of 113.21% and a negative return on equity of 9.30%. The business’s revenue was up 39.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned ($1.12) EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Hess Corporation will post -4.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Hess Corporation news, insider Brian D. Truelove sold 6,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.53, for a total value of $255,180.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, COO Gregory P. Hill sold 11,726 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.37, for a total transaction of $449,926.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 11.80% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Hess Corporation by 7.3% during the 2nd quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,464 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $108,000 after purchasing an additional 167 shares during the last quarter. Korea Investment CORP increased its stake in shares of Hess Corporation by 142.0% during the 2nd quarter. Korea Investment CORP now owns 2,645 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $116,000 after purchasing an additional 1,552 shares during the last quarter. Legacy Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Hess Corporation during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $134,000. Advisor Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Hess Corporation by 9.7% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 4,107 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $167,000 after purchasing an additional 362 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Welch & Forbes LLC increased its stake in shares of Hess Corporation by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. Welch & Forbes LLC now owns 4,668 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $205,000 after purchasing an additional 46 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 87.89% of the company’s stock.

About Hess Corporation

Hess Corporation is an exploration and production company. The Company is engaged in exploration, development, production, transportation, purchase and sale of crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGL) and natural gas. The Company’s segments include Exploration and Production, and Bakken Midstream. Its Exploration and Production segment explores for, develops, produces, purchases and sells crude oil, NGLs and natural gas with production operations primarily in the United States, Denmark, Equatorial Guinea, the Malaysia/Thailand Joint Development Area (JDA), Malaysia and Norway.

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