Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Apache has a large, geographically diversified reserve base and multi-year trend in reserve replacement and production growth. We appreciate the company’s initiatives to align capital spending with its cash flows while continuing to build a high-quality inventory of projects capable of delivering attractive returns even in a low oil price environment. We also believe that Apache's portfolio restructuring initiatives and costcutting measures should allow it to improve its earnings performance in the future. Finally, Apache's recent Alpine High discovery in west Texas is expected to be a game-changer for the company. Estimated to hold massive oil and natural gas reserves, the wells are said to have strong economics and top-tier returns. However, until the uncertainty and volatility in oil prices subside, we see limited upside from current levels and take a cautious stance on APA shares.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on APA. Jefferies Group restated a “sell” rating and set a $48.00 target price on shares of Apache Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, October 19th. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group initiated coverage on shares of Apache Corp. in a research note on Monday, September 26th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $64.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $69.00 price target on shares of Apache Corp. in a research note on Monday, September 26th. Barclays PLC lifted their price target on shares of Apache Corp. from $50.00 to $58.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Finally, Atlantic Securities raised shares of Apache Corp. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $41.00 to $70.00 in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $58.83.

Analyst Recommendations for Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA)

Shares of Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA) opened at 63.27 on Friday. Apache Corp. has a 1-year low of $32.20 and a 1-year high of $66.00. The stock’s market cap is $24.01 billion. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $61.23 and a 200 day moving average price of $56.59.

Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The energy company reported ($0.03) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.16) by $0.13. Apache Corp. had a negative return on equity of 4.70% and a negative net margin of 166.56%. The business earned $1.44 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.38 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned ($0.05) earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Apache Corp. will post ($1.01) EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 22nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 21st will be given a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 19th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.58%. Apache Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently -4.42%.

In related news, Director John E. Lowe purchased 2,132 shares of Apache Corp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 7th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $57.65 per share, for a total transaction of $122,909.80. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 7,500 shares in the company, valued at $432,375. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Chansoo Joung purchased 15,000 shares of Apache Corp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 9th. The shares were bought at an average price of $58.02 per share, with a total value of $870,300.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 45,285 shares in the company, valued at $2,627,435.70. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 0.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Apache Corp. by 5.1% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 24,605,166 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $1,369,769,000 after buying an additional 1,199,481 shares during the period. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its position in Apache Corp. by 36.6% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 17,780,475 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $1,135,639,000 after buying an additional 4,765,205 shares during the period. Davis Selected Advisers increased its position in Apache Corp. by 2.5% in the second quarter. Davis Selected Advisers now owns 17,611,450 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $980,429,000 after buying an additional 437,255 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors increased its position in Apache Corp. by 7.8% in the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 15,403,071 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $857,489,000 after buying an additional 1,108,971 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in Apache Corp. by 4.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 11,276,675 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $627,772,000 after buying an additional 446,121 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.56% of the company’s stock.

Apache Corp. Company Profile

Apache Corporation (Apache) is an independent energy company. Both domestically and internationally, the Company explores for, develops and produces natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids. The Company has exploration and production interests in four countries: the United States, Canada, Egypt, and the United Kingdom (North Sea).

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