Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of KBR Inc. (NYSE:KBR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Monday morning. They currently have $17.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “KBR has a decent earnings surprise history, beating estimates thrice and meeting once in the trailing four quarters. The company is presently facing robust prospects in the Government services and Technology & Consulting businesses. The company believes the Government Services and Technology businesses will provide it some balance between hydrocarbons and government projects. Also, KBR’s recent acquisition of CA-based Wyle is expected to bolster its government services business. Moreover, Investments undertaken around the world in refining and petrochemicals market represent significant opportunity for KBR. The company foresees continued activity in the ethylene area under the present macroeconomic environment. Also, diligent restructuring activities add to its strength. However, prolonged softness in the Engineering & Construction sector coupled with volatility in oil and gas prices may pose threat to KBR's growth.”

KBR has been the topic of several other reports. MKM Partners assumed coverage on shares of KBR in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. They issued a neutral rating and a $13.00 price objective on the stock. DA Davidson set a $20.00 price objective on shares of KBR and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, August 15th. Vetr raised shares of KBR from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $14.30 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a buy rating on shares of KBR in a research report on Tuesday, August 16th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a buy rating and issued a $18.00 price objective on shares of KBR in a research report on Monday. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $17.03.

KBR (NYSE:KBR) opened at 14.54 on Monday. KBR has a 52-week low of $11.61 and a 52-week high of $19.94. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.27 and a beta of 1.54. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $14.80 and a 200-day moving average of $14.60.

KBR (NYSE:KBR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $0.32 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.32. The firm had revenue of $1.01 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.05 billion. KBR had a net margin of 4.34% and a return on equity of 18.60%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 26.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.46 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that KBR will post $1.35 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.08 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.35%. KBR’s payout ratio is 24.81%.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in KBR. Systematic Financial Management LP increased its stake in shares of KBR by 1.2% in the second quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP now owns 6,757,498 shares of the company’s stock worth $89,469,000 after buying an additional 79,379 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in KBR by 6.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 5,034,754 shares of the company’s stock worth $66,660,000 after buying an additional 289,361 shares during the last quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC increased its stake in KBR by 5.3% in the second quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 4,888,123 shares of the company’s stock worth $64,719,000 after buying an additional 245,800 shares during the last quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC increased its stake in KBR by 64.3% in the second quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC now owns 4,747,597 shares of the company’s stock worth $62,858,000 after buying an additional 1,858,400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its stake in KBR by 4.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 4,338,206 shares of the company’s stock worth $57,438,000 after buying an additional 167,963 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.24% of the company’s stock.

About KBR

KBR, Inc (KBR) is an engineering, procurement, construction and services company. The Company supports global hydrocarbons and international Government services market sectors. It operates through three business segments: Technology & Consulting (T&C), Engineering & Construction (E&C), and Government Services (GS).

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