Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Statoil’s price chart reveals that it has underperformed the industry, over the last six months. While Statoil has decreased by 8.6%, the broader market has lost only 7.6%. Coming to the earnings surprise history, Statoil’s record is unimpressive – its missed estimates in three of the last four quarters, resulting in an average negative surprise of 94.87%. Also, Statoil is facing pressure on top line. Over the past three years (2014–2016), total revenues declined at a CAGR of 32%. Continued pressure on oil and gas prices are the primarily reasons for decrease in revenues. Also, Staoil’s Debt equity ratio is 74.5% compared to the broader industry average of 35%. The company’s high leverage is a cause of concern.”

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of Statoil ASA from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Scotiabank reissued a hold rating and set a $17.00 price target on shares of Statoil ASA in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Societe Generale cut shares of Statoil ASA from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. BMO Capital Markets raised shares of Statoil ASA from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, May 25th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a sell rating on shares of Statoil ASA in a report on Monday, May 15th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $18.67.

Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) traded up 0.86% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $18.77. The stock had a trading volume of 1,410,718 shares. Statoil ASA has a 12 month low of $14.98 and a 12 month high of $19.26. The stock’s market cap is $60.78 billion. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $17.04 and a 200 day moving average of $17.47.

Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The oil and gas company reported $0.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.13. The firm had revenue of $15.53 billion during the quarter. Statoil ASA had a negative net margin of 1.32% and a positive return on equity of 5.61%. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.04 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Statoil ASA will post $1.05 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently declared a dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 10th will be given a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 8th. Statoil ASA’s dividend payout ratio is presently -316.65%.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in STO. World Asset Management Inc raised its stake in Statoil ASA by 1.8% in the first quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 200,963 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $3,453,000 after buying an additional 3,621 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank raised its stake in Statoil ASA by 3.0% in the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 190,242 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $3,123,000 after buying an additional 5,576 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in Statoil ASA by 24.6% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 78,970 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $1,356,000 after buying an additional 15,570 shares in the last quarter. Nwam LLC raised its stake in Statoil ASA by 13.9% in the first quarter. Nwam LLC now owns 15,580 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $268,000 after buying an additional 1,900 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Greenleaf Trust raised its stake in Statoil ASA by 17.7% in the first quarter. Greenleaf Trust now owns 14,397 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $247,000 after buying an additional 2,163 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 4.96% of the company’s stock.

Statoil ASA Company Profile

Statoil ASA (Statoil) is an energy company. The Company is engaged in oil and gas exploration and production activities. The Company’s segments include Development and Production Norway (DPN), Development and Production International (DPI), Marketing, Midstream and Processing (MMP) and Other. DPN segment manages the Company’s upstream activities on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) and explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids.

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Analyst Recommendations for Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO)

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