Newfield Exploration Company (NYSE:NFX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Concerned by the current demand/supply imbalance, we are downgrading our recommendation on Newfield Exploration to Underperform from Neutral. The company’s Rockies- and Gulf Coast-centered asset portfolio and its lack of meaningful exposure to the emerging shale plays are competitive disadvantages. Furthermore, because of gas price volatility, costs, geo-political risks and project timing delays; we see no positive catalyst for Newfield shares. Increased debt pressure in the highly competitive shale plays along with declining revenues is also a cause for concern. Therefore, we expect Newfield Exploration to perform below its peers and industry levels in the coming months. We believe there are other companies in the natural gas E&P group that offer better exposure to the sector.”

NFX has been the topic of a number of other reports. Williams Capital restated a “buy” rating and issued a $56.00 target price on shares of Newfield Exploration in a research note on Wednesday, May 3rd. Credit Suisse Group restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $47.00 target price on shares of Newfield Exploration in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Scotiabank set a $46.00 target price on Newfield Exploration and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 27th. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $42.00 target price (down from $48.00) on shares of Newfield Exploration in a research note on Monday, June 5th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $48.00 target price on shares of Newfield Exploration in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and twenty-three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $45.46.

Newfield Exploration (NYSE:NFX) traded down 1.19% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $26.48. The stock had a trading volume of 1,564,348 shares. The stock’s market capitalization is $5.22 billion. Newfield Exploration has a 52 week low of $25.46 and a 52 week high of $50.00. The company’s 50 day moving average is $28.41 and its 200-day moving average is $35.05.

Newfield Exploration (NYSE:NFX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The energy company reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.45 by $0.12. Newfield Exploration had a positive return on equity of 33.87% and a negative net margin of 28.60%. The company had revenue of $417 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $425.44 million. On average, analysts expect that Newfield Exploration will post $2.08 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Newfield Exploration news, insider Lee K. Boothby sold 9,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.57, for a total value of $311,130.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 335,047 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,582,574.79. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 0.54% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Newfield Exploration by 2,798.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,788,511 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $508,934,000 after buying an additional 13,312,785 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its position in shares of Newfield Exploration by 31.1% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 27,063,455 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $998,913,000 after buying an additional 6,422,891 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its position in shares of Newfield Exploration by 45.5% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 3,825,967 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $141,216,000 after buying an additional 1,197,112 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Newfield Exploration by 5.2% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 22,916,735 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $845,856,000 after buying an additional 1,131,263 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp raised its position in shares of Newfield Exploration by 10.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,470,973 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $423,392,000 after buying an additional 1,066,743 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.07% of the company’s stock.

About Newfield Exploration

Newfield Exploration Company is an independent exploration and production company. It is engaged in the exploration, development and production of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Its operating segments are the United States and China. Its the United States operations are onshore and focus primarily on large scale, liquids resource plays.

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Analyst Recommendations for Newfield Exploration (NYSE:NFX)

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