HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “HollyFrontier is one of the largest independent oil refiners in the U.S. with the capability to process a wide mix of crude. While its access to some of the fastest growing domestic markets bode well for the downstream operator, the Petro-Canada Lubricants acquisition has helped HollyFrontier expand into a high-margin, less competitive business. A strong financial position and attractive yields are other positives in the HFC story. However, HollyFrontier has been bogged down by lingering issues pertaining to the refining margins, plus cost escalation associated with maintenance downtime and unplanned refinery shutdowns. As it is, we remain wary of the continued pressure on HollyFrontier's top line. Last but not the least, the U.S. refiners are feeling the pinch of higher RFS costs to comply with new cleaner gasoline production rules. Given these factors, we see HFC as a stock that ordinary investors should hold.”

HFC has been the subject of several other reports. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $38.00 price target on shares of HollyFrontier in a report on Friday, November 17th. Macquarie reaffirmed an “underperform” rating on shares of HollyFrontier in a report on Monday, October 23rd. Barclays lifted their price target on shares of HollyFrontier from $47.00 to $57.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. Argus raised shares of HollyFrontier from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, November 20th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of HollyFrontier from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $26.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $39.20.

HollyFrontier (NYSE HFC) opened at $45.10 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $8,136.83, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.61, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.06 and a beta of 1.31. The company has a current ratio of 2.00, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41. HollyFrontier has a fifty-two week low of $23.46 and a fifty-two week high of $46.16.

HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The oil and gas company reported $1.14 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.89 by $0.25. HollyFrontier had a net margin of 2.55% and a return on equity of 5.18%. The business had revenue of $3.72 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.24 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.42 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 30.6% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that HollyFrontier will post 2.23 earnings per share for the current year.

In other HollyFrontier news, Director Michael Jennings sold 4,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.50, for a total transaction of $200,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 49,717 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,212,406.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.51% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HFC. Aperio Group LLC raised its position in shares of HollyFrontier by 18.4% during the 2nd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 54,803 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $1,505,000 after buying an additional 8,516 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its position in shares of HollyFrontier by 15.6% during the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 77,152 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $2,120,000 after buying an additional 10,423 shares in the last quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. raised its position in shares of HollyFrontier by 7.0% during the 2nd quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 22,332 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $613,000 after buying an additional 1,458 shares in the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado raised its position in shares of HollyFrontier by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 35,345 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $971,000 after buying an additional 435 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bessemer Group Inc. raised its position in shares of HollyFrontier by 8.9% during the 2nd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 43,190 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $1,186,000 after buying an additional 3,513 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 83.31% of the company’s stock.

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About HollyFrontier

HollyFrontier Corporation is an independent petroleum refiner. The Company produces various light products, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, specialty lubricant products, and specialty and modified asphalt. It segments include Refining and Holly Energy Partners, L.P. (HEP). The Refining segment includes the operations of the Company’s El Dorado, Kansas (the El Dorado Refinery); refinery facilities located in Tulsa, Oklahoma (collectively, the Tulsa Refineries); a refinery in Artesia, New Mexico that is operated in conjunction with crude oil distillation and vacuum distillation and other facilities situated 65 miles away in Lovington, New Mexico (collectively, the Navajo Refinery); refinery located in Cheyenne, Wyoming (the Cheyenne Refinery); a refinery in Woods Cross, Utah (the Woods Cross Refinery), and HollyFrontier Asphalt Company (HFC Asphalt).

Analyst Recommendations for HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC)

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