Alon USA Partners LP (NYSE:ALDW) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $9.50 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price points to a potential upside of 10.98% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Alon USA Partners, LP owns and operates refining and petroleum products marketing business. The Company’s integrated downstream business operates primarily in the South Central and Southwestern regions of the United States. It refines crude oil into finished products, which it market primarily in West Texas, Central Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. Alon USA Partners, LP is based in Texas. “

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Citigroup Inc. boosted their target price on Alon USA Partners from $10.80 to $11.50 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. TheStreet upgraded Alon USA Partners from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 31st. Finally, Barclays PLC reiterated an “underweight” rating and set a $8.00 target price (down previously from $9.00) on shares of Alon USA Partners in a research report on Monday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Alon USA Partners currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $10.50.

Alon USA Partners (NYSE:ALDW) traded up 1.54% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $8.56. The company had a trading volume of 131,932 shares. The stock has a market cap of $535.17 million, a PE ratio of 9.98 and a beta of 0.97. Alon USA Partners has a 52-week low of $8.07 and a 52-week high of $26.67. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $9.84 and its 200-day moving average price is $10.02.

Alon USA Partners (NYSE:ALDW) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.02 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.09 by $0.07. Alon USA Partners had a return on equity of 38.88% and a net margin of 2.94%. The business had revenue of $468.46 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $417.45 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.95 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 25.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Alon USA Partners will post ($0.12) EPS for the current fiscal year.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Rafferty Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Alon USA Partners by 1.0% in the first quarter. Rafferty Asset Management LLC now owns 96,659 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,271,000 after buying an additional 965 shares during the period. A.R.T. Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Alon USA Partners during the first quarter valued at approximately $704,000. Creative Planning raised its stake in shares of Alon USA Partners by 27.0% in the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 17,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $179,000 after buying an additional 3,765 shares during the period. Keel Point LLC raised its stake in shares of Alon USA Partners by 1.0% in the second quarter. Keel Point LLC now owns 45,741 shares of the company’s stock valued at $462,000 after buying an additional 437 shares during the period. Finally, Sigma Planning Corp raised its stake in shares of Alon USA Partners by 14.1% in the second quarter. Sigma Planning Corp now owns 15,587 shares of the company’s stock valued at $157,000 after buying an additional 1,925 shares during the period. 5.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Alon USA Partners

Alon USA Partners, LP (Alon) is engaged principally in the business of operating a crude oil refinery in Big Spring, Texas, with a crude oil throughput capacity of approximately 73,000 barrels per day, which the Company refers to as its Big Spring refinery. The Company refines crude oil into finished products, which the Company markets primarily in Central and West Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona through its integrated wholesale distribution network to retail convenience stores and other third-party distributors.

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