Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “With a diversified asset base, exposure to emerging plays and increased focus on the quality acreage of the prolific Permian Basin, this mid-cap onshore-focused E&P offers a compelling value. QEP Resources has maintained its excellent track record of earnings surprise history, beating estimates in each of the last eleven quarters. Since its split from Questar Corp. in 2010, QEP has established a strong track record of production growth, while maintaining a competitive cost structure that has enabled the company to maintain healthy balance sheet and margins amid low oil prices. However, the company, which derives its reserves/production from oil and natural gas, is exposed to volatile commodity prices. This is also reflected in the share price of the company which has declined 50% over a year, underperforming the broader industry. Therefore, until oil and gas realizations improve further, we take a cautious stance on QEP shares.”

QEP has been the topic of a number of other research reports. SunTrust Banks restated a hold rating and set a $9.00 price target on shares of QEP Resources in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Mizuho set a $15.00 target price on QEP Resources and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. BMO Capital Markets set a $11.00 target price on QEP Resources and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 14th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a buy rating and issued a $12.00 target price on shares of QEP Resources in a research report on Sunday, October 22nd. Finally, ValuEngine lowered QEP Resources from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $12.59.

Shares of QEP Resources (QEP) opened at $7.66 on Tuesday. QEP Resources has a 52 week low of $7.02 and a 52 week high of $17.58. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,850.00, a PE ratio of -127.67, a PEG ratio of 8.68 and a beta of 1.72. The company has a current ratio of 1.55, a quick ratio of 1.54 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in QEP. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. lifted its holdings in QEP Resources by 15.4% in the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 271,533 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $2,742,000 after acquiring an additional 36,143 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in QEP Resources by 1.1% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,078,248 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $202,790,000 after acquiring an additional 223,181 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its holdings in QEP Resources by 2.9% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 801,325 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $8,093,000 after acquiring an additional 22,600 shares during the period. M&T Bank Corp lifted its holdings in QEP Resources by 33.0% in the second quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 24,807 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $249,000 after acquiring an additional 6,149 shares during the period. Finally, Suntrust Banks Inc. lifted its holdings in QEP Resources by 5.8% in the second quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 13,536 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $135,000 after acquiring an additional 748 shares during the period. 93.41% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About QEP Resources

QEP Resources, Inc is an independent crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company. The Company focuses on two regions of the United States: the Northern Region (primarily in North Dakota, Wyoming and Utah) and the Southern Region (primarily in Texas and Louisiana). The Company conducts exploration and production activities in North America’s hydrocarbon resource plays.

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