Sprague Resources LP (NYSE:SRLP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, May 9th. The firm presently has a $29.00 price target on the oil and gas company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 7.81% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Sprague Resources LP operates as suppliers of energy and materials handling services. The Company stores, distributes, and sells refined petroleum products and natural gas. Its products include home heating oil, diesel fuels, residual fuels, gasoline and natural gas. Sprague Resources LP is based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “

SRLP has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Janney Montgomery Scott raised shares of Sprague Resources from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $28.00 to $31.00 in a research note on Monday, March 20th. FBR & Co set a $35.00 price objective on shares of Sprague Resources and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 16th.

Shares of Sprague Resources (NYSE:SRLP) traded up 0.37% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $26.85. 5,292 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a 50 day moving average of $26.52 and a 200 day moving average of $26.34. The company has a market capitalization of $574.89 million, a P/E ratio of 69.02 and a beta of 1.45. Sprague Resources has a 52 week low of $22.50 and a 52 week high of $30.35.

Sprague Resources (NYSE:SRLP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, May 8th. The oil and gas company reported $2.94 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.39 by $1.55. Sprague Resources had a net margin of 1.71% and a return on equity of 24.98%. The company had revenue of $917.81 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $791.49 million. Equities analysts anticipate that Sprague Resources will post $3.68 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, May 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 8th were issued a $0.5925 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 4th. This represents a $2.37 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 8.81%. This is a positive change from Sprague Resources’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. Sprague Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 129.78%.

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In other news, Director Ben J. Hennelly sold 2,456 shares of Sprague Resources stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.94, for a total transaction of $66,164.64. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its position in Sprague Resources by 116.0% in the first quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 3,905 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $106,000 after buying an additional 2,097 shares in the last quarter. Friedberg Investment Management purchased a new position in Sprague Resources during the first quarter valued at $224,000. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH purchased a new position in Sprague Resources during the first quarter valued at $245,000. UBS Group AG increased its position in Sprague Resources by 79.3% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 19,273 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $522,000 after buying an additional 8,523 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in Sprague Resources by 11.1% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 37,419 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $1,014,000 after buying an additional 3,736 shares in the last quarter. 52.61% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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