Apache (NYSE:APA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $50.00 price target on the energy company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 15.53% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Apache’s large geographically diversified reserve base and high-quality drilling inventory bode well. The company’s increased focus on the Permian basin- known for its high internal rates of return and low costs is the real driver. The exit from Canadian operations has freed up substantial capital for further expansion in the Permian basin, especially Apache’s Alpine High play. Estimated to hold massive oil and natural gas reserves, Alpine High discovery is expected to be a game-changer for APA. After aligning its spending plans with the low-price environment over the past few years, APA has now raised its capital budget to exploit growth opportunities. In fact, it also inked a deal to advance the midstream infrastructural development in the Alpine High region, which will enable it to remain on the growth trajectory. Hence, APA is viewed as an attractive pick as of now.”

A number of other research firms also recently commented on APA. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on Apache from $42.00 to $41.00 and set a “sell” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 4th. Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on Apache from $46.00 to $51.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Cowen set a $48.00 target price on Apache and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. Stephens initiated coverage on Apache in a research report on Monday, September 17th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $52.00 price target for the company. Finally, Scotiabank restated a “hold” rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of Apache in a research report on Thursday, September 27th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $46.61.

NYSE APA opened at $43.28 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.20, a current ratio of 1.36 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88. The company has a market cap of $18.23 billion, a PE ratio of 179.38, a PEG ratio of 6.15 and a beta of 1.19. Apache has a one year low of $33.60 and a one year high of $50.03.

Apache (NYSE:APA) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 1st. The energy company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.39 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $1.93 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.76 billion. Apache had a return on equity of 5.21% and a net margin of 12.57%. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Apache will post 1.72 EPS for the current year.

In other news, insider Rebecca A. Hoyt sold 6,111 shares of Apache stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.48, for a total transaction of $290,150.28. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 30,548 shares in the company, valued at $1,450,419.04. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Dominic Ricotta sold 3,480 shares of Apache stock in a transaction on Monday, August 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.72, for a total value of $152,145.60. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 10,357 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $452,808.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.59% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Highland Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Apache by 3.1% during the third quarter. Highland Capital Management LLC now owns 53,920 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $2,570,000 after purchasing an additional 1,626 shares during the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Apache by 5.6% during the third quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 152,492 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $7,270,000 after purchasing an additional 8,100 shares during the last quarter. Andra AP fonden lifted its position in shares of Apache by 8.3% during the third quarter. Andra AP fonden now owns 113,400 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $5,406,000 after purchasing an additional 8,700 shares during the last quarter. First Hawaiian Bank bought a new stake in shares of Apache during the third quarter worth $446,000. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can lifted its position in shares of Apache by 97.5% during the third quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 179,143 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $8,540,000 after purchasing an additional 88,445 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 96.74% of the company’s stock.

Apache Company Profile

Apache Corporation, an independent energy company, explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids (NGLs). The company has operations in onshore assets located Permian and Midcontinent/Gulf Coast onshore regions; and offshore assets situated in the Gulf of Mexico region.

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