Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL) saw a significant decrease in short interest during the month of May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 15,235,564 shares, a decrease of 20.7% from the May 15th total of 19,202,447 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 6,604,525 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.3 days. Approximately 3.6% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Brown Advisory Inc. increased its position in shares of Noble Energy by 2.7% in the fourth quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 102,334 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $3,895,000 after buying an additional 2,728 shares in the last quarter. Elkfork Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of Noble Energy during the fourth quarter worth about $459,000. Gabelli Funds LLC increased its position in shares of Noble Energy by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. Gabelli Funds LLC now owns 229,854 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $8,748,000 after buying an additional 4,000 shares in the last quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P acquired a new position in shares of Noble Energy during the fourth quarter worth about $1,496,000. Finally, Tredje AP fonden increased its position in shares of Noble Energy by 21.7% in the fourth quarter. Tredje AP fonden now owns 40,850 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $1,555,000 after buying an additional 7,288 shares in the last quarter. 97.42% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Noble Energy (NBL) opened at 29.50 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $30.29 and its 200-day moving average price is $35.37. The firm’s market cap is $12.71 billion. Noble Energy has a 52-week low of $27.92 and a 52-week high of $42.03.

Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, May 1st. The oil and gas development company reported ($0.05) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.14) by $0.09. The company had revenue of $1.04 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $974.54 million. Noble Energy had a negative return on equity of 0.44% and a negative net margin of 17.75%. The firm’s revenue was up 43.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned ($0.53) EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Noble Energy will post ($0.01) EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, May 22nd. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 8th were paid a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.36%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 4th. Noble Energy’s dividend payout ratio is -25.48%.

Several brokerages have recently commented on NBL. Bank of America Corporation began coverage on Noble Energy in a report on Tuesday, May 23rd. They set a “buy” rating and a $49.00 target price on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 target price on shares of Noble Energy in a report on Friday, May 26th. Scotiabank set a $38.00 target price on Noble Energy and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, March 27th. ValuEngine cut Noble Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies restated an “overweight” rating on shares of Noble Energy in a report on Monday, May 15th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, nineteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $44.53.

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Noble Energy Company Profile

Noble Energy, Inc is an independent energy company. The Company is engaged in crude oil, natural gas and natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) exploration, development, production and acquisition. The Company’s segments include: United States, including the onshore DJ Basin, Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Marcellus Shale and offshore deepwater Gulf of Mexico, as well as the consolidated accounts of Noble Midstream Partners LP (Noble Midstream Partners); Eastern Mediterranean, including offshore Israel and Cyprus; West Africa, including offshore Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Gabon, and Other International and Corporate, including new ventures, such as offshore the Falkland Islands, Suriname and Newfoundland.

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