Bank of America Corp. upgraded shares of Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday morning.

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Statoil ASA from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $19.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, June 23rd. Societe Generale upgraded Statoil ASA from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. DNB Markets upgraded Statoil ASA from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 28th. HSBC upgraded Statoil ASA from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered Statoil ASA from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a report on Thursday, July 21st. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $15.53.

Shares of Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) opened at 15.41 on Friday. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $15.89 and a 200-day moving average price of $16.22. Statoil ASA has a 12-month low of $10.89 and a 12-month high of $17.94. The company’s market cap is $49.02 billion.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 16th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 3rd will be issued a dividend of $0.2201 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 1st. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.71%. Statoil ASA’s dividend payout ratio is presently -229.72%.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of STO. Folketrygdfondet raised its stake in shares of Statoil ASA by 4.0% in the first quarter. Folketrygdfondet now owns 117,436,971 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,827,319,000 after buying an additional 4,479,827 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in shares of Statoil ASA by 68.9% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 3,018,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $46,966,000 after buying an additional 1,231,200 shares in the last quarter. Raymond James & Associates raised its stake in shares of Statoil ASA by 2.5% in the second quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 1,817,950 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,469,000 after buying an additional 43,983 shares in the last quarter. General Electric Co. raised its stake in shares of Statoil ASA by 22.4% in the second quarter. General Electric Co. now owns 1,481,508 shares of the company’s stock valued at $25,645,000 after buying an additional 270,873 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Guardian Capital LP raised its stake in shares of Statoil ASA by 6.3% in the second quarter. Guardian Capital LP now owns 1,305,865 shares of the company’s stock valued at $22,605,000 after buying an additional 76,881 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 5.33% of the company’s stock.

About Statoil ASA

Statoil ASA is an energy company, engaged in oil and gas exploration and production activities. The Company’s segments include Development and Production Norway (DPN), Development and Production USA (DPUSA), Development and Production International (DPI), Marketing, Midstream and Processing (MMP), New Energy Solutions (NES), and Other.

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