Alon USA Energy Inc. (NYSE:ALJ) shares gapped up prior to trading on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $7.17, but opened at $7.25. Alon USA Energy shares last traded at $7.33, with a volume of 886,910 shares.

Several research analysts have issued reports on ALJ shares. Cowen and Company cut their price objective on Alon USA Energy from $14.00 to $10.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 5th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Alon USA Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. Barclays PLC upgraded Alon USA Energy from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $10.00 to $8.00 in a research report on Wednesday, July 13th. Wells Fargo & Co. restated a “hold” rating on shares of Alon USA Energy in a research report on Sunday, July 10th. Finally, TheStreet cut Alon USA Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, May 6th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and five have given a hold rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $9.50.

The company’s market capitalization is $537.32 million. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $6.73 and a 200-day moving average price of $8.93.

Alon USA Energy (NYSE:ALJ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported ($0.21) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.19) by $0.02. The company earned $1.01 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $883.85 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.67 EPS. Alon USA Energy’s revenue for the quarter was down 22.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Alon USA Energy Inc. will post ($1.12) earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Investors of record on Friday, August 19th will be given a dividend of $0.15 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 17th. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.93%.

In other Alon USA Energy news, insider David Wiessman sold 75,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $7.03, for a total transaction of $527,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 2,885,541 shares in the company, valued at approximately $20,285,353.23. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Michael Oster sold 47,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $8.19, for a total value of $384,930.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 62,300 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $510,237. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have made changes to their positions in the company. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in shares of Alon USA Energy by 40.1% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 112,816 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,674,000 after buying an additional 32,288 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its position in shares of Alon USA Energy by 20.8% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 138,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,057,000 after buying an additional 23,900 shares during the period. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. raised its position in shares of Alon USA Energy by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 153,359 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,276,000 after buying an additional 1,058 shares during the period. Matarin Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Alon USA Energy during the fourth quarter worth about $2,540,000. Finally, Systematic Financial Management LP raised its position in shares of Alon USA Energy by 281.1% in the fourth quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP now owns 457,097 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,783,000 after buying an additional 337,157 shares during the period.

Alon USA Energy, Inc is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, operating primarily in the South Central, Southwestern and Western regions of the United States. The Company operates through three segments: refining and marketing, asphalt and retail. Its refineries produce petroleum products, including various grades of gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, petrochemicals, petrochemical feedstocks, asphalt and other petroleum-based products.

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