Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Apache has a large, geographically diversified reserve base and multi-year trend in reserve replacement and production growth. We appreciate the company’s initiatives to align capital spending with its cash flows while continuing to build a high-quality inventory of projects capable of delivering attractive returns even in a low oil price environment. We also believe that Apache's portfolio restructuring initiatives and costcutting measures should allow it to improve its earnings performance in the future. Finally, Apache's recent Alpine High discovery in west Texas is expected to be a game-changer for the company. Estimated to hold massive oil and natural gas reserves, the wells are said to have strong economics and top-tier returns. However, until the uncertainty and volatility in oil prices subside, we see limited upside from current levels and take a cautious stance on APA shares.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on the stock. Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of Apache Corp. from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and upped their target price for the stock from $41.00 to $70.00 in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Raymond James Financial Inc. upped their target price on shares of Apache Corp. from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, September 8th. Citigroup Inc. downgraded shares of Apache Corp. from a buy rating to a neutral rating and dropped their target price for the stock from $55.00 to $53.00 in a research note on Tuesday, August 9th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Deutsche Bank AG upped their target price on shares of Apache Corp. from $53.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, September 8th. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group initiated coverage on shares of Apache Corp. in a research note on Monday, September 26th. They issued a neutral rating and a $64.00 target price on the stock. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $58.83.

Analyst Recommendations for Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA)

Shares of Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA) opened at 60.74 on Tuesday. The stock’s market cap is $23.05 billion. Apache Corp. has a 12-month low of $32.20 and a 12-month high of $66.00. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $61.00 and its 200-day moving average is $56.88.

Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The energy company reported ($0.03) EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.16) by $0.13. The company had revenue of $1.44 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.38 billion. Apache Corp. had a negative net margin of 166.56% and a negative return on equity of 4.70%. The firm’s revenue was down 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.05) EPS. Equities analysts expect that Apache Corp. will post ($1.00) EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, November 22nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 21st were issued a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, October 19th. Apache Corp.’s payout ratio is -4.42%.

In other Apache Corp. news, Director John E. Lowe purchased 2,132 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 7th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $57.65 per share, with a total value of $122,909.80. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 7,500 shares in the company, valued at approximately $432,375. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider James L. House sold 8,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.38, for a total transaction of $507,040.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 2,057 shares in the company, valued at $130,372.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.40% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of APA. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. increased its position in Apache Corp. by 2,658.6% in the second quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. now owns 60,551 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $3,371,000 after buying an additional 58,356 shares in the last quarter. Grassi Investment Management increased its position in Apache Corp. by 7.1% in the second quarter. Grassi Investment Management now owns 9,025 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $502,000 after buying an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. Trust Co increased its position in Apache Corp. by 1.9% in the first quarter. Trust Co now owns 28,504 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $1,391,000 after buying an additional 540 shares in the last quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. increased its position in Apache Corp. by 0.8% in the second quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 432,463 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $24,075,000 after buying an additional 3,302 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Exxonmobil Investment Management Inc. TX increased its position in Apache Corp. by 6.4% in the second quarter. Exxonmobil Investment Management Inc. TX now owns 97,984 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $5,455,000 after buying an additional 5,878 shares in the last quarter. 91.83% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Apache Corp. Company Profile

Apache Corporation (Apache) is an independent energy company. Both domestically and internationally, the Company explores for, develops and produces natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids. The Company has exploration and production interests in four countries: the United States, Canada, Egypt, and the United Kingdom (North Sea).

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