SM Energy Co. (NYSE:SM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $36.00 price target on the energy company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 4.02% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “SM Energy boasts of a diverse asset mix and promising organic production growth outlook. SM Energy is also favorably positioned than most of its peers in terms of the strength of its balance sheet. Moreover, its holdings in Eagle Ford, Bakken, Niobrara, Haynesville and Granite Wash provide multiple years of drilling inventory, indicating robust long-term prospects for the firm. We also appreciate SM Energy’s decision to increase highly productive Permian Basin acreage to boost shareholder’s return. Those positives are reflected in the company’s narrower-than-expected third-quarter 2016 loss. It is to be noted that lower lease operating expenses primarily led to the outperformance. On top of that, the company’s recent deal worth $1.6 billion to acquire almost 35,700 net acres in the Midland Basin of West Texas is a huge positive.”

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. Simmons raised SM Energy from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $38.00 to $50.00 in a report on Monday, August 15th. KLR Group raised SM Energy from an “accumulate” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $37.00 to $43.00 in a report on Tuesday, August 9th. Royal Bank Of Canada increased their target price on SM Energy from $39.00 to $42.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 19th. KeyCorp raised SM Energy from a “sector weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $40.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, August 10th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reissued a “hold” rating and set a $24.00 target price on shares of SM Energy in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $35.26.

Analyst Recommendations for SM Energy (NYSE:SM)

Shares of SM Energy (NYSE:SM) opened at 34.61 on Monday. The company’s market capitalization is $3.01 billion. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $36.48 and its 200 day moving average price is $32.26. SM Energy has a one year low of $6.99 and a one year high of $43.09.

The business also recently announced a semiannual dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, October 21st were given a dividend of $0.05 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, October 19th. This represents a dividend yield of 0.29%. SM Energy’s payout ratio is -0.76%.

In related news, SVP Kenneth J. Knott sold 661 shares of SM Energy stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.00, for a total transaction of $26,440.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 43,417 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,736,680. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Corporate insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in SM. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its stake in shares of SM Energy by 143.0% in the third quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 26,154 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $1,009,000 after buying an additional 15,390 shares during the period. Verition Fund Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of SM Energy during the third quarter worth approximately $291,000. Panagora Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of SM Energy by 22.7% in the third quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 14,069 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $543,000 after buying an additional 2,601 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors raised its stake in shares of SM Energy by 0.5% in the third quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 7,245,940 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $279,548,000 after buying an additional 37,000 shares during the period. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company acquired a new stake in shares of SM Energy during the third quarter worth approximately $4,567,000. 86.46% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

SM Energy Company Profile

SM Energy Company is an independent energy company. The Company is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and production of crude oil and condensate, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in onshore North America. The Company operates in the exploration and production segment of the oil and gas industry within the United States.

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