Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Valvoline (NYSE:VVV) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “Valvoline Inc. is a producer and distributor of premium-branded automotive, commercial and industrial lubricants as well as automotive chemicals. The company’s brand and franchises consists of Valvoline Instant Oil Change(SM), Valvoline lubricants and automotive chemicals (TM), MaxLife lubricants (TM), SynPower(TM) and Zerex(TM) antifreeze. Valvoline Inc. is based in Lexington, United States. “

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine raised Valvoline from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, November 26th. Citigroup set a $22.00 target price on Valvoline and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, November 8th. Wolfe Research downgraded Valvoline from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report on Wednesday, November 7th. Bank of America downgraded Valvoline from a buy rating to an underperform rating and lowered their target price for the company from $24.00 to $20.00 in a report on Tuesday, November 6th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group began coverage on Valvoline in a research report on Wednesday, October 3rd. They issued a buy rating and a $27.00 price target for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $23.75.

VVV stock opened at $20.61 on Friday. Valvoline has a fifty-two week low of $17.49 and a fifty-two week high of $25.23. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.98, a PEG ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 0.90.

Valvoline (NYSE:VVV) last posted its earnings results on Monday, November 5th. The basic materials company reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.34. Valvoline had a negative return on equity of 95.31% and a net margin of 7.26%. The company had revenue of $594.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $593.80 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.33 earnings per share. Valvoline’s revenue was up 8.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Valvoline will post 1.39 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 30th were given a $0.106 dividend. This is a boost from Valvoline’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.07. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 29th. This represents a $0.42 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.06%. Valvoline’s dividend payout ratio is presently 32.56%.

In other Valvoline news, VP Thomas A. Gerrald II sold 1,566 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.39, for a total value of $31,930.74. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 1,643 shares in the company, valued at $33,500.77. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Anthony R. Puckett sold 2,588 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.32, for a total value of $52,588.16. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 3,298 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $67,015.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 4,698 shares of company stock valued at $95,350. Company insiders own 0.49% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Capital International Investors purchased a new stake in shares of Valvoline during the third quarter worth about $208,400,000. FIL Ltd grew its position in shares of Valvoline by 4.4% during the third quarter. FIL Ltd now owns 5,999,480 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $129,049,000 after purchasing an additional 254,864 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its position in shares of Valvoline by 13.5% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 5,773,869 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $124,196,000 after purchasing an additional 684,854 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in shares of Valvoline by 51.6% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,709,001 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $79,781,000 after purchasing an additional 1,262,729 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group grew its position in shares of Valvoline by 1.5% during the third quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 3,574,366 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $76,885,000 after purchasing an additional 52,480 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 98.45% of the company’s stock.

Valvoline Company Profile

Valvoline Inc manufactures and markets engine and automotive maintenance products and services. It operates through three segments: Core North America, Quick Lubes, and International. The company offers lubricants for passenger car, light duty, and heavy duty; antifreeze/coolants for original equipment manufacturers; functional and maintenance chemicals, such as brake fluids and power steering fluids, as well as specialty coatings for automotive and industrial applications comprising rust prevention and sound absorption; and oil and air filters for light-duty vehicles.

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