Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of QEP Resources, Inc. (NYSE:QEP) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday.

According to Zacks, “With a diversified asset base, exposure to emerging plays and quality acreage in multiple basins, this mid-cap onshore-focused E&P offers a compelling value. Despite the weak commodity pricing environment, QEP Resources has maintained its excellent track record of earnings surprise history, beating estimates in each of the last eleven quarters. The company also reported stronger results in the quarter owing to higher realized prices, decrease in impairment expenses and increase in the realized and unrealized gain on derivatives. However, the company, which derives its reserves/production from oil and natural gas, is exposed to volatile commodity prices. This is also reflected in the share price of the company which has declined 39% year to date, underperforming the broader industry. Therefore, until oil and gas realizations improve further, we maintain a cautious stance on QEP shares.”

Several other research firms have also issued reports on QEP. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $9.00 price target on shares of QEP Resources in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Mizuho reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $11.00 price target on shares of QEP Resources in a report on Friday, October 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $12.00 price target on shares of QEP Resources in a report on Sunday, October 22nd. Barclays PLC lifted their price target on shares of QEP Resources from $8.00 to $9.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $11.00 price target on shares of QEP Resources and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. QEP Resources has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $14.19.

Shares of QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP) traded down $0.34 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $10.00. 7,880,000 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 6,090,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 1.54 and a current ratio of 1.55. QEP Resources has a 12 month low of $7.02 and a 12 month high of $21.12.

QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The pipeline company reported ($0.10) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.21) by $0.11. The company had revenue of $390.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $393.87 million. QEP Resources had a negative net margin of 0.90% and a negative return on equity of 3.48%. QEP Resources’s revenue was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted ($0.21) earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that QEP Resources will post -0.46 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director David A. Trice acquired 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 17th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $7.20 per share, with a total value of $180,000.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 40,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $288,000. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 1.36% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Marshall Wace North America L.P. lifted its position in QEP Resources by 213.8% during the second quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 480,416 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $4,804,000 after purchasing an additional 327,342 shares during the period. Mitchell Group Inc. lifted its position in QEP Resources by 63.8% during the second quarter. Mitchell Group Inc. now owns 1,870,290 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $18,890,000 after purchasing an additional 728,590 shares during the period. Amalgamated Bank lifted its position in QEP Resources by 3.9% during the first quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 35,909 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $456,000 after purchasing an additional 1,355 shares during the period. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. lifted its position in QEP Resources by 18.3% during the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 114,013 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $1,152,000 after purchasing an additional 17,642 shares during the period. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System lifted its position in QEP Resources by 1.7% during the second quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 101,400 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $1,024,000 after purchasing an additional 1,700 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 94.61% of the company’s stock.

About QEP Resources

QEP Resources, Inc is an independent crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company. The Company focuses on two regions of the United States: the Northern Region (primarily in North Dakota, Wyoming and Utah) and the Southern Region (primarily in Texas and Louisiana). The Company conducts exploration and production activities in North America’s hydrocarbon resource plays.

Analyst Recommendations for QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP)

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