Hess Co. (NYSE:HES) reached a new 52-week high and low during mid-day trading on Tuesday . The stock traded as low as $59.56 and last traded at $57.52, with a volume of 2952626 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $58.54.

HES has been the subject of several analyst reports. Barclays reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $49.00 price objective on shares of Hess in a research note on Monday, January 8th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 price objective on shares of Hess in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Macquarie initiated coverage on shares of Hess in a research note on Wednesday, January 17th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $65.00 price objective for the company. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of Hess from $49.00 to $57.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised shares of Hess from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $42.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, February 12th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Hess presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $50.97.

The stock has a market capitalization of $18,213.25, a price-to-earnings ratio of -12.51 and a beta of 1.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 2.43 and a current ratio of 2.53.

Hess (NYSE:HES) last released its earnings results on Monday, February 5th. The oil and gas producer reported ($1.01) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.91) by ($0.10). The firm had revenue of $1.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.32 billion. Hess had a negative return on equity of 9.82% and a negative net margin of 74.55%. The firm’s revenue was down 6.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned ($1.01) EPS. equities research analysts anticipate that Hess Co. will post -1.86 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 19th were given a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, March 16th. Hess’s dividend payout ratio is -21.69%.

Hess declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, March 8th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the oil and gas producer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, COO Gregory P. Hill sold 7,422 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.04, for a total transaction of $356,552.88. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 90,600 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,352,424. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Timothy B. Goodell sold 3,627 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.43, for a total transaction of $161,147.61. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 99,555 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,423,228.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 174,017 shares of company stock worth $7,981,459. Insiders own 11.80% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of HES. CoreCommodity Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Hess during the 4th quarter worth about $108,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its holdings in shares of Hess by 453.4% during the 4th quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,651 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $126,000 after purchasing an additional 2,172 shares during the period. NuWave Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Hess during the 4th quarter worth about $141,000. Icon Wealth Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Hess during the 4th quarter worth about $145,000. Finally, Exane Derivatives increased its stake in Hess by 65.2% in the fourth quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 3,536 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $168,000 after acquiring an additional 1,395 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 91.56% of the company’s stock.

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Hess Company Profile

Hess Corporation, an exploration and production company, develops, produces, purchases, transports, and sells crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and natural gas. It operates through two segments, Exploration and Production, and Midstream. The company conducts production operations primarily in the United States, Denmark, the Malaysia/Thailand Joint Development Area, and Malaysia; and exploration activities primarily offshore Guyana, Suriname, Canada, and in the Gulf of Mexico.

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