Zacks Investment Research cut shares of QEP Resources Inc. (NYSE:QEP) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “With a diversified asset base, exposure to emerging plays and quality acreage in multiple basins, this mid-cap onshore-focused E&P offers a compelling value. Since its split from Questar Corp. in 2010, QEP has established a strong track record of production growth, while maintaining a competitive cost structure. The split of its midstream segment is expected to further enhance shareholder worth. However, the natural gas-heavy production mix currently clouds QEP’s value and is the main factor behind our cautious stance. Moreover, the oil price slump has adversely affected the group’s earnings and cash flows. Consequently, until the external environment challenges subside, we see limited upside for QEP shares from current levels.”

QEP has been the subject of several other reports. KLR Group reissued a buy rating and set a $27.00 price target (up from $25.00) on shares of QEP Resources in a research report on Thursday, June 30th. Barclays PLC raised QEP Resources from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and increased their price target for the company from $17.00 to $22.00 in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Drexel Hamilton started coverage on QEP Resources in a research report on Tuesday, June 7th. They set a buy rating and a $33.00 price target for the company. Piper Jaffray Cos. raised QEP Resources from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 14th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG upped their price objective on QEP Resources from $22.00 to $23.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 14th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $22.14.

Shares of QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP) opened at 17.07 on Tuesday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $18.91 and a 200 day moving average price of $17.14. QEP Resources has a 52 week low of $8.54 and a 52 week high of $20.96. The firm’s market cap is $4.09 billion.

QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported ($0.23) EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.35) by $0.12. QEP Resources had a negative return on equity of 4.04% and a negative net margin of 67.39%. The firm earned $333.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $362.17 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.09 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 41.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that QEP Resources will post ($1.19) EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO Charles B. Stanley bought 16,763 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 30th. The shares were bought at an average price of $17.85 per share, for a total transaction of $299,219.55. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 1.36% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. IBM Retirement Fund increased its stake in shares of QEP Resources by 1.0% in the second quarter. IBM Retirement Fund now owns 21,811 shares of the company’s stock worth $385,000 after buying an additional 207 shares in the last quarter. Cipher Capital LP increased its stake in shares of QEP Resources by 0.5% in the second quarter. Cipher Capital LP now owns 50,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $884,000 after buying an additional 235 shares in the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its stake in shares of QEP Resources by 9.4% in the second quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 13,533 shares of the company’s stock worth $237,000 after buying an additional 1,167 shares in the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. increased its stake in shares of QEP Resources by 8.6% in the second quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 15,027 shares of the company’s stock worth $265,000 after buying an additional 1,190 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado increased its stake in shares of QEP Resources by 2.8% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 47,047 shares of the company’s stock worth $829,000 after buying an additional 1,261 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 87.51% of the company’s stock.

About QEP Resources

QEP Resources, Inc (QEP) is a holding company with two subsidiaries, QEP Energy Company and QEP Marketing Company, which are engaged in two primary lines of business: oil and gas exploration and production (QEP Energy), and oil and gas marketing, operation of a gas gathering system and an underground gas storage facility, and corporate activities (QEP Marketing and Other).

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