Shares of Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Friday . Approximately 4,006,317 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 10% from the previous session’s volume of 3,658,068 shares.The stock last traded at $34.29 and had previously closed at $33.85.

Several analysts have commented on NBL shares. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Noble Energy in a research report on Thursday, June 2nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Noble Energy in a research report on Monday, July 18th. Nomura reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $41.00 target price (up previously from $36.00) on shares of Noble Energy in a research report on Tuesday, May 24th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Noble Energy in a research report on Sunday, July 10th. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group upgraded shares of Noble Energy from an “underweight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 5th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and twenty-one have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $41.71.

The company’s market cap is $14.73 billion. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $35.10 and its 200-day moving average is $34.37.

Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The oil and gas development company reported ($0.24) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.29) by $0.05. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.26 earnings per share. The company earned $847 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $909.36 million. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Noble Energy Inc. will post ($1.09) earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 22nd. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 8th were paid a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.17%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 4th.

In other Noble Energy news, Director Thomas J. Edelman sold 12,000 shares of Noble Energy stock in a transaction on Friday, June 24th. The shares were 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $106,427,198.02. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website.

A hedge fund recently raised its stake in Noble Energy stock. Bank of Montreal Can raised its position in shares of Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL) by 8.2% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 323,482 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock after buying an additional 24,542 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can owned 0.08% of Noble Energy worth $10,652,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

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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