Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sunoco (NYSE:SUN) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Sunoco’s operations are significantly exposed to debt capital, with the balance sheet more levered than the industry it belongs to. The company’s long-term debt to capitalization ratio of 79.2% is significantly higher than that of the industry’s 53.8%. Its debt-ridden balance sheet can hinder the partnership’s plan to expand midstream business through acquisitions. Even if the partnership goes through with this plan, it will increase the debt burden. Escalating operating costs can hurt its bottom line in the upcoming quarters. Also, expectations of a sharp slowdown in the U.S. economy by many economists may hurt the partnership’s fuel distribution businesses. Given these headwinds, Sunoco seems like a risky bet that ordinary investors should avoid.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. UBS Group upgraded Sunoco from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, February 22nd. TheStreet cut Sunoco from a b rating to a c+ rating in a report on Monday, March 25th. Barclays cut Sunoco from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $34.00 to $32.00 in a report on Tuesday, April 16th. ValuEngine upgraded Sunoco from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, February 4th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group restated a hold rating and set a $29.00 price objective on shares of Sunoco in a report on Tuesday, January 29th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. Sunoco has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $30.33.

NYSE SUN opened at $30.69 on Tuesday. Sunoco has a fifty-two week low of $23.80 and a fifty-two week high of $31.88. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.80, a quick ratio of 0.61 and a current ratio of 1.05. The company has a market cap of $3.00 billion, a PE ratio of 11.90 and a beta of 0.87.

Sunoco (NYSE:SUN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 20th. The oil and gas company reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by ($0.13). Sunoco had a negative net margin of 1.22% and a positive return on equity of 33.77%. The business had revenue of $3.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.43 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.01 EPS. Sunoco’s revenue was up 31.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Sunoco will post 2.44 earnings per share for the current year.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Resources Investment Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Sunoco in the 4th quarter worth $41,000. Geode Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Sunoco in the 4th quarter worth $207,000. Lake Point Wealth Management purchased a new stake in shares of Sunoco in the 4th quarter worth $228,000. Stifel Financial Corp purchased a new stake in shares of Sunoco in the 4th quarter worth $266,000. Finally, Virtu Financial LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Sunoco in the 1st quarter worth $380,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 29.63% of the company’s stock.

Sunoco Company Profile

Sunoco LP, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the distribution and retailing of motor fuels in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Fuel Distribution and Marketing, and All Other. The Fuel Distribution and Marketing segment purchases motor fuel from independent refiners and major oil companies and supplies it to independently operated dealer stations, distributors and other consumer of motor fuel, and partnership operated stations, as well as to commission agent locations.

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