Shares of Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL) fell 2.9% on Wednesday . The stock traded as low as $33.20 and last traded at $33.45, with a volume of 3,969,430 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $34.45.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. Simmons assumed coverage on shares of Noble Energy in a research note on Wednesday, June 8th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $48.00 price objective for the company. Seaport Global Securities raised shares of Noble Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $36.00 to $45.00 in a research note on Tuesday, June 7th. Credit Agricole SA assumed coverage on shares of Noble Energy in a research note on Wednesday, June 22nd. They set an “outperform” rating for the company. Sterne Agee CRT raised shares of Noble Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $35.33 to $47.00 in a research note on Wednesday, May 25th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus upped their price objective on shares of Noble Energy from $37.00 to $45.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 8th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and twenty-one have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $42.39.

The firm’s market cap is $14.35 billion. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $35.74 and a 200-day moving average of $33.56.

Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The oil and gas development company reported ($0.24) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.29) by $0.05. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.26 earnings per share. The company earned $847 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $909.36 million. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.8% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Noble Energy Inc. will post ($1.05) EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 22nd. Investors of record on Monday, August 8th will be issued a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 4th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.20%.

In related news, Director Thomas J. Edelman sold 12,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, June 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.09, for a total value of $421,080.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 3,032,978 shares in the company, valued at $106,427,198.02. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website.

A number of hedge funds have modified their holdings of the company. Advantus Capital Management Inc increased its stake in shares of Noble Energy by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc now owns 40,695 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $1,340,000 after buying an additional 956 shares during the last quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. increased its stake in shares of Noble Energy by 5.8% in the fourth quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. now owns 56,838 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $1,872,000 after buying an additional 3,119 shares during the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its stake in shares of Noble Energy by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 67,022 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $2,207,000 after buying an additional 1,597 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Noble Energy by 10.0% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 90,524 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $2,981,000 after buying an additional 8,264 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mutual of America Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Noble Energy by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 97,302 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $3,204,000 after buying an additional 277 shares during the last quarter.

Noble Energy, Inc is an independent energy company engaged in crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) exploration and production. The Company’s portfolio is diversified between short-term and long-term projects, domestic and international and a balanced production mix among crude oil, natural gas and NGLs.

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