Halliburton (HAL) Upgraded to Hold by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Halliburton’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Oil & Gas Field Services industry over the past 6 months (up 18.2% vs. 8%). This price performance is backed by phenomenal earnings surprise history, with HAL having surpassed expectations in all the trailing 14 quarters. The world’s No. 2 oilfield-services provider's consistently strong numbers could be attributed to improved utilization and pricing gains in North America. Of late, HAL has also been aided by margin expansion at its drilling and evaluation product lines, while the international market continues to improve. However, cost inflation triggered by increased fracking sand pricing is likely to dampen investor confidence. Moreover, with the failure of BHI acquisition, HAL had to book a massive $3.5 billion in breakup charges that stretched its balance sheet. Hence, we advise investors to wait for a better entry point before buying shares in HAL.”

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Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on HAL. Barclays set a $66.00 price target on shares of Halliburton and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Jefferies Group set a $65.00 price target on shares of Halliburton and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Cowen reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $60.00 price target on shares of Halliburton in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. B. Riley upped their price target on shares of Halliburton from $55.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, SunTrust Banks upped their price target on shares of Halliburton to $69.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and twenty-one have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $58.74.

Halliburton stock opened at $52.30 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $44,524.16, a PE ratio of 42.70, a PEG ratio of 2.54 and a beta of 1.06. Halliburton has a fifty-two week low of $38.18 and a fifty-two week high of $57.86. The company has a current ratio of 2.22, a quick ratio of 1.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.25.

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 22nd. The oilfield services company reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $5.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.63 billion. Halliburton had a negative net margin of 2.25% and a positive return on equity of 11.95%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 47.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.04 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Halliburton will post 2.51 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 28th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 7th were given a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, March 6th. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.38%. Halliburton’s payout ratio is 59.02%.

In other Halliburton news, insider Timothy Mckeon sold 4,583 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.95, for a total transaction of $251,835.85. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Jeffrey Allen Miller sold 29,025 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total transaction of $1,596,375.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 72,895 shares of company stock valued at $4,008,996. Company insiders own 0.54% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Halliburton by 3.9% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 63,837,947 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $3,119,761,000 after purchasing an additional 2,421,658 shares during the period. Jennison Associates LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Halliburton by 1.5% during the fourth quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 8,857,279 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $432,855,000 after purchasing an additional 130,567 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Halliburton by 1.3% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 8,541,673 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $416,483,000 after purchasing an additional 107,367 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Halliburton by 37.7% during the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 6,153,365 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $300,715,000 after purchasing an additional 1,684,961 shares during the period. Finally, Aristotle Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Halliburton by 1.0% during the fourth quarter. Aristotle Capital Management LLC now owns 4,656,520 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $227,564,000 after purchasing an additional 44,274 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 80.25% of the company’s stock.

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About Halliburton

Halliburton Company provides a range of services and products to oil and natural gas companies worldwide. The company's Completion and Production segment offers production enhancement services, including stimulation and sand control services; and cementing services, such as bonding the well, well casing, and casing equipment.

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