Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Halliburton’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Oil & Gas Field Services industry over the past six months (up +24% vs. +11.7%). This price performance is backed by phenomenal earnings surprise history, with the company having surpassed expectations in all the trailing 13 quarters. The world’s No. 2 oilfield-services provider's consistently strong numbers could be attributed to improved utilization and pricing gains in North America. Of late, Halliburton has also been aided by margin expansion at its drilling and evaluation product lines. However, muted outlook across the international markets is likely to dampen investor confidence. Moreover, with the failure of BHI acquisition, HAL had to book a massive $3.5 billion in breakup charges that stretched its balance sheet. Hence, we advise investors to wait for a better entry point before buying shares in HAL.”

HAL has been the subject of several other reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered their price target on Halliburton from $60.00 to $55.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Loop Capital restated a buy rating and set a $57.00 price target (down from $62.00) on shares of Halliburton in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. Scotiabank restated a buy rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Halliburton in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Citigroup lowered their price target on Halliburton from $54.00 to $52.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Cowen restated a market perform rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Halliburton in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, twenty-four have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $57.36.

Shares of Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) traded up $0.47 during trading on Friday, reaching $52.29. The company had a trading volume of 7,611,360 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,964,080. Halliburton has a 52 week low of $38.18 and a 52 week high of $58.78. The stock has a market capitalization of $45,630.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 217.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.00 and a beta of 1.03. The company has a quick ratio of 1.67, a current ratio of 2.20 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.13.

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 23rd. The oilfield services company reported $0.42 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.04. Halliburton had a return on equity of 6.93% and a net margin of 1.13%. The business had revenue of $5.44 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.35 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.01 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 42.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that Halliburton will post 1.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 28th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 7th were paid a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.38%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, December 6th. Halliburton’s dividend payout ratio is presently 300.00%.

In other Halliburton news, insider Timothy Mckeon sold 1,609 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.99, for a total value of $78,824.91. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 18,612 shares in the company, valued at $911,801.88. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider James S. Brown sold 29,485 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.01, for a total value of $1,297,634.85. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 129,646 shares in the company, valued at $5,705,720.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 106,147 shares of company stock worth $4,723,895. 0.47% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Estabrook Capital Management increased its position in shares of Halliburton by 82.8% during the second quarter. Estabrook Capital Management now owns 2,760 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $118,000 after purchasing an additional 1,250 shares in the last quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC increased its position in shares of Halliburton by 243.3% during the third quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 3,165 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $146,000 after purchasing an additional 2,243 shares in the last quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Halliburton during the third quarter worth about $184,000. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. increased its position in shares of Halliburton by 4.1% during the second quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 4,251 shares of the oilfield services company’s stock worth $182,000 after purchasing an additional 167 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Neville Rodie & Shaw Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Halliburton during the third quarter worth about $202,000. Institutional investors own 79.79% of the company’s stock.

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About Halliburton

Halliburton Company provides services and products to the upstream oil and natural gas industry throughout the lifecycle of the reservoir, from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data, to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production throughout the life of the field.

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