Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Halliburton Co. (NYSE:HAL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday.

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. However, with the failure of BHI acquisition, Halliburton had to book a massive $3.5 billion in breakup charges. Halliburton was also forced to cut back operations in Venezuela after it struggled to get paid for services already rendered. Hence, we advise investors to wait for a better entry point before buying shares in Halliburton.”

HAL has been the subject of several other reports. Vetr lowered Halliburton from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $46.86 price target for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, October 19th. Cowen and Company raised their price target on Halliburton from $40.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research report on Thursday, October 20th. Nomura restated a buy rating and set a $61.00 price target (up from $54.00) on shares of Halliburton in a research report on Thursday, October 20th. FBR & Co set a $58.00 price objective on Halliburton and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, October 20th. Finally, Societe Generale reiterated a buy rating and issued a $58.00 price objective on shares of Halliburton in a research note on Sunday, October 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, twenty-eight have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Halliburton presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $50.81.

Analyst Recommendations for Halliburton (NYSE:HAL)

Shares of Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) traded down 0.24% on Tuesday, reaching $49.72. The company had a trading volume of 1,012,570 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $47.50 and its 200 day moving average is $44.40. The firm’s market capitalization is $42.98 billion. Halliburton has a 12 month low of $27.64 and a 12 month high of $50.49.

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

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

In other Halliburton news, insider Joe D. Rainey sold 23,162 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.23, for a total value of $1,163,427.26. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 185,819 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,333,688.37. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Eric Carre sold 18,343 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total transaction of $917,150.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 169,994 shares in the company, valued at $8,499,700. 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 have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Advisor Partners LLC raised its stake in 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 in the last quarter. Channing Capital Management LLC raised its stake in 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 in the last quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. increased its position in Halliburton by 15.1% in the second quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 41,655 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $1,886,000 after buying an additional 5,472 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group increased its position in 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 worth $112,022,000 after buying an additional 2,059,670 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Meeder Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in Halliburton during the second quarter worth approximately $904,000. Institutional investors own 80.34% of the company’s stock.

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Halliburton Company Profile

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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