Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Since natural gas accounts for almost all of the  Southwestern Energy’s reserves and production, its results are vulnerable to negative near-term outlook for the commodity. Moreover, an oversupplied U.S. natural gas market with low demand provides little space for the company to flourish. The company is facing pressure on top line. Over the past three years (2014–2016), total revenues declined at a CAGR of 22.3%. Continued pressure on oil and gas prices are the primarily reasons for decrease in revenues. We are also concerned with the company’s high debt load. At the end of the first quarter, the company’s debt balance stood at $4.4 billion compared with cash balance of $659.1 million in the balance sheet. In fact, the company’s debt-to-equity ratio is 341.5%, higher than the broader industry average of 99.4%.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Cowen and Company raised shares of Southwestern Energy from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $14.00 to $11.00 in a research note on Wednesday, April 19th. National Securities reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $14.00 price target on shares of Southwestern Energy in a research note on Monday, May 1st. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an equal weight rating and set a $9.00 price target (down previously from $10.00) on shares of Southwestern Energy in a research note on Saturday, April 22nd. BidaskClub raised shares of Southwestern Energy from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a buy rating and set a $8.00 price objective on shares of Southwestern Energy in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $12.65.

Shares of Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN) traded down 3.71% during trading on Thursday, hitting $5.71. 16,515,292 shares of the company were exchanged. Southwestern Energy has a 12 month low of $5.46 and a 12 month high of $15.59. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $5.93 and its 200 day moving average price is $7.44. The stock’s market cap is $2.83 billion.

Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The energy company reported $0.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.18. Southwestern Energy had a negative net margin of 43.91% and a positive return on equity of 17.89%. The firm had revenue of $846 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $765.03 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.08) EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 46.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Southwestern Energy will post $0.62 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Cleararc Capital Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southwestern Energy by 2.2% in the first quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. now owns 12,185 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 261 shares during the last quarter. Financial Counselors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Southwestern Energy during the first quarter worth $101,000. Tudor Investment Corp ET AL purchased a new stake in shares of Southwestern Energy during the first quarter worth $102,000. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Southwestern Energy during the first quarter worth $103,000. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Southwestern Energy by 25.3% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 9,900 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 2,000 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.99% of the company’s stock.

About Southwestern Energy

Southwestern Energy Company is an energy company engaged in natural gas and oil exploration, development and production. The Company operates through two segments: Exploration and Production (E&P) and Midstream Services. Its operations in northeast Pennsylvania are primarily focused on the unconventional natural gas reservoir known as the Marcellus Shale.

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