Nustar Energy L.P. (NYSE:NS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Considering NuStar Energy's weak distribution coverage and high leverage, we have turned bearish on the partnership. Crude's historic decline has undoubtedly impacted the demand for transportation and storage services. With operations likely to generate weak cash and management not expected to cover distribution until late 2018, NuStar's future looks bleak. In fact, the distribution coverage ratio dipped to a dismal 0.59x in the second quarter – down from 1.09x a year ago. While the midstream MLP has underperformed the broader industry across the past three- and 6-month periods, its debt-to-equity ratio of over 2 is almost double when compared to the industry average. In the wake of weak industry sentiment and apprehensions of more punishing times ahead with future cash flows drying up, we see little reason for investors to hold the stock.”

A number of other research firms also recently commented on NS. Stifel Nicolaus decreased their price target on Nustar Energy L.P. from $52.00 to $46.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. FBR & Co reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Nustar Energy L.P. in a research note on Wednesday, April 12th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded Nustar Energy L.P. from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 13th. Wells Fargo & Company downgraded Nustar Energy L.P. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Finally, Macquarie assumed coverage on Nustar Energy L.P. in a research note on Friday, April 21st. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $47.00 price target for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.00.

Shares of Nustar Energy L.P. (NYSE:NS) opened at 41.15 on Monday. Nustar Energy L.P. has a one year low of $41.06 and a one year high of $55.64. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 57.88 and a beta of 1.38. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $45.46 and its 200-day moving average price is $48.89.

Nustar Energy L.P. (NYSE:NS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The pipeline company reported $0.05 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.28. The firm had revenue of $435.49 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $500.83 million. Nustar Energy L.P. had a return on equity of 8.84% and a net margin of 6.77%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.52 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Nustar Energy L.P. will post $1.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Nustar Energy L.P. news, Director William Grady Rosier bought 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 19th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $46.40 per share, with a total value of $232,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Jesse D. Bates bought 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 21st. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $42.81 per share, for a total transaction of $42,810.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 7,818 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $334,688.58. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders acquired 7,000 shares of company stock worth $318,150 in the last three months. 4.10% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of NS. Botty Investors LLC acquired a new stake in Nustar Energy L.P. during the second quarter worth $127,000. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. boosted its stake in Nustar Energy L.P. by 708.0% in the second quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. now owns 3,232 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $158,000 after buying an additional 2,832 shares during the period. Penserra Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Nustar Energy L.P. by 210.2% in the second quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 3,617 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $168,000 after buying an additional 2,451 shares during the period. Sigma Planning Corp acquired a new stake in Nustar Energy L.P. during the first quarter worth $206,000. Finally, Level Four Advisory Services LLC boosted its stake in Nustar Energy L.P. by 4.5% in the first quarter. Level Four Advisory Services LLC now owns 4,423 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $226,000 after buying an additional 191 shares during the period. 52.47% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Nustar Energy L.P.

NuStar Energy L.P. is engaged in the transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia; the terminalling and storage of petroleum products, and the marketing of petroleum products. The Company’s segments include pipeline, storage and fuels marketing. The pipeline segment consists of the transportation of refined petroleum products, crude oil and anhydrous ammonia.

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Analyst Recommendations for Nustar Energy L.P. (NYSE:NS)

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