Western Refining Inc. (NYSE:WNR) shares were down 1.4% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The company traded as low as $23.28 and last traded at $23.36, with a volume of 1,374,375 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $23.69.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on WNR shares. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Western Refining from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. Tudor Pickering upgraded shares of Western Refining from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 28th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of Western Refining from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $28.00 to $20.00 in a research note on Friday, June 10th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restated a “neutral” rating and set a $22.00 price objective on shares of Western Refining in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, Simmons restated a “hold” rating and set a $26.00 price objective (down from $27.00) on shares of Western Refining in a research note on Wednesday, May 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $32.11.

The company has a 50 day moving average price of $21.54 and a 200 day moving average price of $24.43. The company has a market capitalization of $2.55 billion and a PE ratio of 8.37.

Western Refining (NYSE:WNR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.72 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.21. The company earned $2.11 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.11 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.44 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 25.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Western Refining Inc. will post $1.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 9th. Investors of record on Monday, July 25th were paid a $0.38 dividend. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 6.45%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 21st.

In other Western Refining news, Chairman Paul L. Foster acquired 325,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 9th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $23.59 per share, with a total value of $7,666,750.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the chairman now directly owns 3,109,466 shares in the company, valued at $73,352,302.94. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Brian John Hogan acquired 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 27th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $21.37 per share, with a total value of $213,700.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 78,463 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,676,754.31. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.

A number of hedge funds have added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. raised its stake in Western Refining by 75.1% in the fourth quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 44,821 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,597,000 after buying an additional 19,221 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in Western Refining by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 368,897 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,140,000 after buying an additional 2,367 shares during the period. Marshall Wace LLP acquired a new stake in Western Refining during the fourth quarter worth $1,613,000. Jennison Associates LLC raised its stake in Western Refining by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 979,211 shares of the company’s stock worth $34,879,000 after buying an additional 43,775 shares during the period. Finally, Airain ltd raised its stake in Western Refining by 248.6% in the fourth quarter. Airain ltd now owns 165,280 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,887,000 after buying an additional 117,869 shares during the period.

Western Refining, Inc (Western) is a crude oil refiner and marketer of refined products. The Company operates through four segments: refining, Northern Tier Energy LP (NTI), Western Refining Logistics, LP (WNRL) and retail. Its refining segment owns and operates over two refineries in the Southwest that process crude oil and other feedstocks into gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and asphalt.

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