Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (NYSE:PXD) gapped up prior to trading on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $179.75, but opened at $180.30. Pioneer Natural Resources shares last traded at $183.47, with a volume of 794,143 shares.

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on PXD shares. Deutsche Bank AG increased their target price on Pioneer Natural Resources from $159.00 to $180.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 21st. Vetr raised Pioneer Natural Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $157.33 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, April 25th. Topeka Capital Markets increased their target price on Pioneer Natural Resources from $165.00 to $190.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 26th. Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on Pioneer Natural Resources from $155.00 to $177.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 26th. Finally, Iberia Capital increased their target price on Pioneer Natural Resources from $155.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 26th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, thirty-one have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $171.85.

The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $160.62 and a 200 day moving average price of $149.13. The firm’s market capitalization is $31.19 billion.

Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The oil and gas development company reported ($0.22) earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.34) by $0.12. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.10 EPS. The business earned $786 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $797.28 million. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 22.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Pioneer Natural Resources Co. will post ($0.32) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP Mark Stephen Berg sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $171.53, for a total value of $343,060.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 49,266 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,450,596.98. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Mark H. Kleinman sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.01, for a total value of $151,010.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 16,816 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,539,384.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Pioneer Natural Resources by 21.4% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 24,161 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock valued at $3,029,000 after buying an additional 4,258 shares during the period. KBC Group NV raised its stake in Pioneer Natural Resources by 16.1% in the fourth quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 44,516 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock valued at $5,581,000 after buying an additional 6,187 shares during the period. Bridgewater Associates LP raised its stake in Pioneer Natural Resources by 8.6% in the fourth quarter. Bridgewater Associates LP now owns 45,400 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock valued at $5,692,000 after buying an additional 3,600 shares during the period. I.G. Investment Management LTD. raised its stake in Pioneer Natural Resources by 10.6% in the fourth quarter. I.G. Investment Management LTD. now owns 112,570 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock valued at $14,114,000 after buying an additional 10,783 shares during the period. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in Pioneer Natural Resources by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 211,618 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock valued at $26,533,000 after buying an additional 4,158 shares during the period.

Pioneer Natural Resources Company is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States. The Company operates through the oil and gas development, exploration and production segment. The Company focuses on production of oil, natural gas liquid (NGLs) and gas through development drilling, production enhancement activities and acquisitions of producing properties.

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