Shares of Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) have earned a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the twenty-one analysts that are covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, eight have issued a hold recommendation and twelve have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year target price among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $72.31.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on VLO shares. US Capital Advisors downgraded Valero Energy Corporation from an “overweight” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 17th. BidaskClub downgraded Valero Energy Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Saturday, August 19th. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Valero Energy Corporation in a report on Thursday, May 25th. Jefferies Group LLC lowered their target price on Valero Energy Corporation from $80.00 to $78.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Finally, Scotiabank set a $70.00 target price on Valero Energy Corporation and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, June 26th.

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Shares of Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE VLO) traded up 1.70% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $71.13. The stock had a trading volume of 6,859,864 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $67.83 and its 200-day moving average is $66.36. The stock has a market cap of $31.42 billion, a PE ratio of 17.56 and a beta of 1.19. Valero Energy Corporation has a 12 month low of $51.17 and a 12 month high of $71.51.

Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The oil and gas company reported $1.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.08 by $0.15. The firm had revenue of $22.25 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $19.32 billion. Valero Energy Corporation had a return on equity of 8.59% and a net margin of 2.17%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.07 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Valero Energy Corporation will post $4.29 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 7th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 9th were paid a $0.70 dividend. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 7th. Valero Energy Corporation’s payout ratio is 69.14%.

In related news, Director Stephen M. Waters sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.00, for a total transaction of $102,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Susan Kaufman Purcell sold 5,151 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.68, for a total value of $333,166.68. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 9,866 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $638,132.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.45% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its holdings in Valero Energy Corporation by 0.6% during the 1st quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,746 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $116,000 after purchasing an additional 11 shares during the period. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Valero Energy Corporation by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 6,542 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $441,000 after purchasing an additional 24 shares during the period. Brown Advisory Securities LLC increased its holdings in Valero Energy Corporation by 0.7% during the 1st quarter. Brown Advisory Securities LLC now owns 3,815 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $254,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares during the period. Eads & Heald Investment Counsel increased its holdings in Valero Energy Corporation by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Eads & Heald Investment Counsel now owns 8,420 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $568,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares during the period. Finally, Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in Valero Energy Corporation by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,140 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $279,000 after purchasing an additional 30 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 80.75% of the company’s stock.

About Valero Energy Corporation

Valero Energy Corporation (Valero) is an independent petroleum refiner and ethanol producer. The Company’s segments include refining, ethanol and Valero Energy Partners LP (VLP). The refining segment includes its refining operations and the associated marketing activities. The ethanol segment includes its ethanol operations and the associated marketing activities, and logistics assets that support its ethanol operations.

Analyst Recommendations for Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO)

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