Mizuho started coverage on shares of Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL) in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The firm set a “buy” rating and a $44.00 price target on the oil and gas development company’s stock. Mizuho’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 24.12% from the company’s current price.

Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Citigroup Inc. upgraded shares of Noble Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Johnson Rice restated a “buy” rating and set a $21.00 price objective (up previously from $19.00) on shares of Noble Energy in a report on Thursday, September 15th. Wunderlich upped their price objective on shares of Noble Energy from $44.00 to $45.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Barclays PLC upped their price objective on shares of Noble Energy from $41.00 to $44.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Noble Energy in a report on Monday, July 18th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and twenty-three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $40.23.

Analyst Recommendations for Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL)

Shares of Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) opened at 35.45 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $34.98 and a 200-day moving average of $35.04. The company’s market capitalization is $15.24 billion. Noble Energy has a 52 week low of $23.77 and a 52 week high of $39.85.

Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The oil and gas development company reported ($0.24) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.29) by $0.05. Noble Energy had a negative net margin of 90.52% and a negative return on equity of 2.16%. The firm had revenue of $847 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $909.36 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.26 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Noble Energy will post ($1.06) EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director Jeffrey L. Berenson sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.05, for a total transaction of $340,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 82,269 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,801,259.45. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Thomas J. Edelman sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.62, for a total value of $403,440.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 3,032,978 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $101,968,720.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.17% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in Noble Energy by 3.2% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,865,006 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock valued at $58,576,000 after buying an additional 57,066 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio increased its position in Noble Energy by 10.1% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 1,455,163 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock valued at $52,196,000 after buying an additional 133,449 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in Noble Energy by 2.7% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,493,380 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock valued at $109,506,000 after buying an additional 91,877 shares in the last quarter. Carmignac Gestion purchased a new position in Noble Energy during the second quarter valued at $218,343,000. Finally, Wellington Management Group LLP increased its position in Noble Energy by 60.6% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 4,684,149 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock valued at $147,129,000 after buying an additional 1,767,615 shares in the last quarter. 93.83% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Noble Energy

Noble Energy, Inc is an independent energy company engaged in crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) exploration and production. The Company’s portfolio is diversified between short-term and long-term projects, domestic and international and a balanced production mix among crude oil, natural gas and NGLs.

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