Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Halliburton Co. (NYSE:HAL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Monday. The brokerage currently has $55.00 price target on the oilfield services company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Despite the weak commodity pricing environment, Halliburton has maintained its excellent track record of earnings surprise history, beating estimates in each of the last nine quarters. The world’s second largest oilfield-services provider's results reflect effective cost management and improved utilization on the back of growing North American rig count. In fact, Halliburton has used the challenges prevailing in the industry to its advantage, mainly by offering low cost solutions that aids producers in churning out more by investing less. With industry observers hopeful about an OPEC deal and the subsequent advancement of oil, producers are likely to revive spending on drilling activities that would spur rig count even higher. This, in turn, will result in improved demand for oilfield equipments. Consequently, we think Halliburton offers upside potential from current levels and label it as an attractive investment.”

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on HAL. Vetr cut shares of Halliburton from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $46.86 price target for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, October 19th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on shares of Halliburton from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Thursday, October 20th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lifted their price target on shares of Halliburton from $49.50 to $53.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, October 20th. Cowen and Company lifted their price target on shares of Halliburton from $40.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research note on Thursday, October 20th. Finally, Iberia Capital lifted their price target on shares of Halliburton from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, October 20th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, twenty-nine have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $50.81.

Analyst Recommendations for Halliburton (NYSE:HAL)

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) traded down 0.88% during trading on Monday, reaching $49.66. 2,906,096 shares of the company were exchanged. Halliburton has a 1-year low of $27.64 and a 1-year high of $50.49. The stock’s market capitalization is $42.93 billion. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $47.36 and its 200-day moving average price is $44.33.

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 19th. The oilfield services company reported $0.01 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.07) by $0.08. Halliburton had a negative net margin of 33.29% and a positive return on equity of 1.82%. The business earned $3.83 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.87 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.31 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 31.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Halliburton will post ($0.05) EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 28th. Investors of record on Wednesday, December 7th will be given a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 5th. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.44%. Halliburton’s dividend payout ratio is presently -10.98%.

In related news, President Jeffrey Allen Miller sold 55,299 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total value of $2,764,950.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now owns 302,261 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,113,050. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider James S. Brown sold 28,439 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.00, for a total transaction of $1,336,633.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.46% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in HAL. Advisor Partners LLC increased its position in shares of Halliburton by 9.5% in the second quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 11,487 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock valued at $520,000 after buying an additional 996 shares during the last quarter. Channing Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Halliburton by 28.9% in the second quarter. Channing Capital Management LLC now owns 143,543 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock valued at $6,501,000 after buying an additional 32,209 shares during the last quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. increased its position in shares of Halliburton by 15.1% in the second quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 41,655 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock valued at $1,886,000 after buying an additional 5,472 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group increased its position in shares of Halliburton by 497.8% in the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 2,473,431 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock valued at $112,022,000 after buying an additional 2,059,670 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Halliburton during the second quarter valued at $904,000. 80.34% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Halliburton

Halliburton Company is a provider of services and products to the upstream oil and natural gas industry. The Company operates through two segments: the Completion and Production segment, and the Drilling and Evaluation segment. The Company’s Completion and Production segment delivers cementing, stimulation, intervention, pressure control, specialty chemicals, artificial lift, and completion products and services.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:HAL

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