Western Refining Inc. (NYSE:WNR) was upgraded by stock analysts at Citigroup Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on WNR. Piper Jaffray Cos. boosted their target price on Western Refining from $16.00 to $19.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, August 22nd. Morgan Stanley set a $21.00 target price on Western Refining and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Credit Suisse Group AG boosted their target price on Western Refining from $27.00 to $31.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, September 19th. Tudor Pickering raised Western Refining from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Western Refining from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $28.33.

Analyst Recommendations for Western Refining (NYSE:WNR)

Western Refining (NYSE:WNR) opened at 28.07 on Wednesday. Western Refining has a 52-week low of $18.14 and a 52-week high of $47.55. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $26.98 and a 200-day moving average of $23.88. The company has a market capitalization of $3.04 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.98 and a beta of 1.63.

Western Refining (NYSE:WNR) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.21. Western Refining had a return on equity of 10.65% and a net margin of 3.20%. The business earned $2.11 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.11 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.44 EPS. Western Refining’s revenue was down 25.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Western Refining will post $1.30 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 8th. Investors of record on Monday, October 24th will be given a $0.38 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 20th. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.42%. Western Refining’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 54.68%.

In other news, Chairman Paul L. Foster bought 325,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 9th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $23.59 per share, with a total value of $7,666,750.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 3,109,466 shares in the company, valued at $73,352,302.94. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Jeff A. Stevens bought 100,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 24th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $23.25 per share, with a total value of $2,325,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 3,474,156 shares in the company, valued at $80,774,127. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 26.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WNR. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its stake in shares of Western Refining by 1,442.6% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 2,009,919 shares of the company’s stock worth $58,469,000 after buying an additional 1,879,626 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Western Refining by 4.7% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,401,738 shares of the company’s stock worth $98,958,000 after buying an additional 152,319 shares during the period. ING Groep NV purchased a new stake in shares of Western Refining during the second quarter worth about $18,594,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Western Refining by 40.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 43,149 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,255,000 after buying an additional 12,463 shares during the period. Finally, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its stake in shares of Western Refining by 5.5% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 336,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,783,000 after buying an additional 17,600 shares during the period. 65.11% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Western Refining

Western Refining, Inc (Western) is a crude oil refiner and marketer of refined products. The Company operates through four segments: refining, Northern Tier Energy LP (NTI), Western Refining Logistics, LP (WNRL) and retail. Its refining segment owns and operates over two refineries in the Southwest that process crude oil and other feedstocks into gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and asphalt.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:WNR

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