Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of NuStar Energy (NYSE:NS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning. The firm currently has $26.00 target price on the pipeline company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “NuStar Energy is expected to successfully weather crude's precipitous decline through its large and diverse asset portfolio that provides highly certain cash flows. As it is, the partnership's merger with its general partner has resulted in the elimination of IDRs and boosted the future growth prospects. NuStar’s acquisition of Dallas-based private pipeline company, Navigator Energy Services, marks its entry into the Permian Basin and is likely to boost its revenue. The recent agreement to sell its UK assets in a bid to improve its leverage metrics also bode well. Other positive attributes include its investment grade rating and strong track record for distribution growth. Consequently, NuStar is perceived to offers upside potential from current levels and label it as an attractive investment.”

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine downgraded NuStar Energy from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. Citigroup cut their price target on NuStar Energy from $27.00 to $25.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, November 29th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. NuStar Energy presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $26.44.

Shares of NS stock traded down $0.13 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $24.82. 10,267 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 766,398. NuStar Energy has a 1 year low of $19.22 and a 1 year high of $35.91. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.12, a quick ratio of 0.79 and a current ratio of 0.87. The company has a market capitalization of $2.71 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.85 and a beta of 1.61.

NuStar Energy (NYSE:NS) last posted its earnings results on Monday, November 5th. The pipeline company reported $0.13 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.13. NuStar Energy had a return on equity of 32.29% and a net margin of 12.03%. The firm had revenue of $490.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $472.87 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.15 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.3% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts forecast that NuStar Energy will post 1.56 earnings per share for the current year.

In other NuStar Energy news, Director Dan J. Hill bought 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 24th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $20.73 per share, for a total transaction of $41,460.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 38,631 shares in the company, valued at approximately $800,820.63. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director William E. Greehey bought 100,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 17th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $22.98 per share, for a total transaction of $2,298,000.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 9,058,682 shares in the company, valued at approximately $208,168,512.36. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 4.10% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Prospera Financial Services Inc bought a new position in shares of NuStar Energy during the 3rd quarter valued at $216,000. Chemical Bank bought a new position in shares of NuStar Energy during the 3rd quarter valued at $218,000. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of NuStar Energy during the 3rd quarter valued at $229,000. Independent Advisor Alliance bought a new position in shares of NuStar Energy during the 3rd quarter valued at $231,000. Finally, Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of NuStar Energy during the 3rd quarter valued at $259,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.53% of the company’s stock.

NuStar Energy Company Profile

NuStar Energy L.P. engages in the terminalling, storage, and marketing of petroleum products in Texas. The company also engages in the transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia. It operates through three segments: Pipeline, Storage, and Fuels Marketing. The Pipeline segment transports refined petroleum products, crude oil, and anhydrous ammonia.

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