Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of KBR Inc. (NYSE:KBR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning.

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. However, on the negative side, prolonged softness in the Engineering & Construction sector coupled with volatility in oil and gas prices may pose a major threat. Also, sluggish activities in several projects approaching completion add to the concerns.  Moreover, long-cycle nature of the contracts, pending legal cases, volatility in material & equipment pricing, risk of loss of significant customers and stiff competition raise caution.”

KBR has been the subject of several other reports. MKM Partners set a $16.00 target price on KBR and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded KBR from a hold rating to a buy rating and upped their target price for the stock from $14.00 to $16.00 in a report on Tuesday. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a buy rating and issued a $18.00 price target on shares of KBR in a research report on Monday. Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a buy rating on shares of KBR in a research report on Tuesday, August 16th. Finally, DA Davidson set a $20.00 price target on KBR and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, August 15th. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $17.33.

Shares of KBR (NYSE:KBR) traded up 0.82% on Wednesday, reaching $16.00. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,074,065 shares. KBR has a 12-month low of $11.61 and a 12-month high of $19.94. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $14.76 and a 200-day moving average price of $14.61. The stock has a market cap of $2.28 billion, a PE ratio of 12.40 and a beta of 1.54.

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

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a $0.08 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.02%. KBR’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 24.81%.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. LSV Asset Management purchased a new position in KBR during the second quarter valued at $100,000. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in KBR during the second quarter valued at $102,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in KBR by 71.7% in the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 8,665 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 3,619 shares during the period. Sei Investments Co. increased its position in KBR by 18.9% in the second quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 8,854 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 1,405 shares during the period. Finally, World Asset Management Inc increased its position in KBR by 0.6% in the second quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 10,187 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 58 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 97.24% of the company’s stock.

KBR Company Profile

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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