Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) has been given an average rating of “Buy” by the twenty-six analysts that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have given a hold recommendation and twenty-one have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12 month target price among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $41.60.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Deutsche Bank set a $40.00 price objective on shares of Noble Energy and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 21st. ValuEngine cut shares of Noble Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada set a $37.00 price objective on shares of Noble Energy and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 23rd. Stifel Nicolaus set a $45.00 price objective on shares of Noble Energy and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 28th. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $41.00 price objective on shares of Noble Energy in a research report on Friday, February 23rd.

In other news, VP Andrea Lee Robison sold 8,760 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.00, for a total value of $306,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 100,918 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,532,130. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director James E. Craddock sold 8,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.35, for a total transaction of $266,475.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 93,413 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,928,497.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 23,260 shares of company stock valued at $772,695 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 1.96% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Millennium Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Noble Energy in the first quarter valued at about $46,186,000. Syntal Capital Partners LLC raised its holdings in shares of Noble Energy by 101.6% in the first quarter. Syntal Capital Partners LLC now owns 32,505 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock valued at $984,000 after buying an additional 16,384 shares during the last quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Noble Energy by 264.1% in the first quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC now owns 31,213 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock valued at $946,000 after buying an additional 22,641 shares during the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Noble Energy by 72.6% in the first quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,742,007 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock valued at $52,783,000 after buying an additional 732,622 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd increased its stake in shares of Noble Energy by 656.0% during the first quarter. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd now owns 3,833 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $116,000 after acquiring an additional 3,326 shares during the period. 96.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Noble Energy opened at $35.31 on Friday, Marketbeat reports. The firm has a market cap of $17.07 billion, a PE ratio of 50.34 and a beta of 1.02. Noble Energy has a 12-month low of $34.86 and a 12-month high of $35.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60, a current ratio of 1.17 and a quick ratio of 1.17.

Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 1st. The oil and gas development company reported $0.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.28 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $1.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.22 billion. Noble Energy had a negative net margin of 13.32% and a positive return on equity of 3.25%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned ($0.05) EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Noble Energy will post 1.11 earnings per share for the current year.

Noble Energy announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 15th that allows the company to repurchase $750.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the oil and gas development company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 21st. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 7th will be issued a $0.11 dividend. This represents a $0.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.25%. This is a boost from Noble Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 4th. Noble Energy’s dividend payout ratio is presently 141.94%.

Noble Energy Company Profile

Noble Energy, Inc, an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids worldwide. It owns, operates, develops, and acquires domestic midstream infrastructure assets in the DJ and Delaware Basins. It principal projects are primarily located in the US unconventional basins and various global offshore conventional basins.

Analyst Recommendations for Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL)

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