Morgan Stanley began coverage on shares of Range Resources Corp. (NYSE:RRC) in a research note published on Tuesday morning. The brokerage issued an equal weight rating and a $45.00 price target on the oil and gas exploration company’s stock.

“We see significant upside if gas and NGL prices rebound, balanced by greater balance sheet risk than peers if commodity prices remain weak in 2017,” analyst Drew Venker wrote in a note. “We see relatively balanced risk-reward for Range net of the balance sheet improvement: the stock offers deep NAV upside, but downside is greater than many of its Appalachia peers due to its higher leverage and premium multiple,” Venker continued. Resource Potential And RiskMeanwhile, the analyst noted that Memorial’s Louisiana assets have large resource potential, but greater risk than the Marcellus as much of the acreage position is untested — versus the Marcellus, which has been extensively drilled and is fully delineated.After the Memorial deal, Venker expects Range’s YE-2017 leverage to remain above peers on his strip price deck at 3.7x net debt to EBITDA vs. the Marcellus-Utica peers at 2.0x.”If gas and NGL prices remain subdued next year, balance sheet concerns could quickly become investors’ primary concern on RRC. However, in a higher price environment in 2017, any remaining leverage concerns will quickly dissipate,,” the firm’s analyst commented.

Analyst Recommendations for Range Resources Corp. (NYSE:RRC)

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a hold rating on shares of Range Resources Corp. in a research note on Sunday, July 17th. Vetr lowered Range Resources Corp. from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $40.37 target price on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, June 1st. Simmons began coverage on Range Resources Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. They set an overweight rating and a $52.00 target price on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Range Resources Corp. from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $52.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Friday, July 8th. Finally, Imperial Capital upgraded Range Resources Corp. from an in-line rating to an outperform rating and increased their target price for the stock from $45.00 to $55.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $44.28.

Range Resources Corp. (NYSE:RRC) opened at 38.33 on Tuesday. Range Resources Corp. has a 1-year low of $19.21 and a 1-year high of $46.96. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $39.75 and a 200-day moving average price of $39.68. The firm’s market cap is $6.39 billion.

Range Resources Corp. (NYSE:RRC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The oil and gas exploration company reported ($0.14) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.21) by $0.07. Range Resources Corp. had a negative return on equity of 14.57% and a negative net margin of 71.00%. The company earned $362.67 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $327.40 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.01 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 10.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Range Resources Corp. will post ($0.20) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 16th will be issued a $0.02 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 14th. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.21%. Range Resources Corp.’s payout ratio is currently -1.42%.

In other news, COO Ray N. Walker, Jr. sold 13,350 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.53, for a total value of $501,025.50. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 42,598 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,598,702.94. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 2.40% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. FMR LLC boosted its position in Range Resources Corp. by 449.6% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 4,634,388 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock valued at $199,928,000 after buying an additional 3,791,208 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its position in Range Resources Corp. by 1.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 4,410,311 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock valued at $190,261,000 after buying an additional 44,179 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its position in Range Resources Corp. by 3.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 3,053,906 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock valued at $131,746,000 after buying an additional 87,524 shares during the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. purchased a new position in Range Resources Corp. during the second quarter valued at $116,394,000. Finally, Blue Ridge Capital L.L.C. purchased a new position in Range Resources Corp. during the second quarter valued at $106,556,000.

About Range Resources Corp.

Range Resources Corporation is an independent natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and oil company. The Company operates through the exploration and production of natural gas, NGLs and oil in the United States segment. The Company is engaged in the exploration, development and acquisition of natural gas and oil properties, focused in the Appalachian region of the United States.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:RRC

Receive News & Ratings for Range Resources Corp. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Range Resources Corp. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.