Shares of Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE:VLO) dropped 1.9% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as low as $53.87 and last traded at $54.32, with a volume of 2,681,890 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $55.35.

VLO has been the topic of several recent research reports. Erste Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Valero Energy Corp. in a report on Friday, May 13th. Tudor Pickering downgraded shares of Valero Energy Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, May 16th. TheStreet downgraded shares of Valero Energy Corp. to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 26th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Valero Energy Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Monday, May 30th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price target on shares of Valero Energy Corp. from $57.00 to $59.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, June 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $69.76.

The firm has a market capitalization of $25.30 billion and a P/E ratio of 8.81. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $53.31 and a 200-day moving average of $56.66.

Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE:VLO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.07 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.04. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $2.66 EPS. The firm earned $19.58 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $16.79 billion. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 22.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Valero Energy Corp. will post $3.32 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 8th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 11th will be given a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.38%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 9th.

A hedge fund recently raised its stake in Valero Energy Corp. stock. Jennison Associates LLC boosted its position in shares of Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE:VLO) by 147.3% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 14,878 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 8,861 shares during the period. Jennison Associates LLC’s holdings in Valero Energy Corp. were worth $1,052,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Valero Energy Corporation (Valero), through Valero Energy Partners LP (VLP), owns, operates, develops and acquires crude oil and refined petroleum products pipelines, terminals, and other transportation and logistics assets. The Company operates in two segments: refining and ethanol. Its refining segment includes refining and marketing operations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Aruba and Ireland.

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