Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sunoco (NYSE:SUN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday morning. The brokerage currently has $32.00 target price on the oil and gas company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Sunoco LP operates as a wholesale fuel distributor. It engages in distributing motor fuel to convenience stores, independent dealers, commercial customers and distributors. The Company also operates convenience stores and retail fuel sites. Sunoco LP, formerly known as Susser Petroleum Partners LP, is based in Houston, Texas. “

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine cut Sunoco from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut Sunoco from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $33.00 to $32.00 in a research report on Friday, October 12th. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on Sunoco in a research report on Thursday, October 11th. They issued a neutral rating and a $31.00 price objective for the company. TheStreet raised Sunoco from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research report on Monday, September 24th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reduced their price objective on Sunoco from $30.00 to $29.00 and set a market perform rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $30.55.

Sunoco stock traded down $0.58 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $27.50. 411,929 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 467,935. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.62 and a beta of 0.84. The company has a quick ratio of 0.79, a current ratio of 1.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.94. Sunoco has a 12 month low of $24.46 and a 12 month high of $33.11.

Sunoco (NYSE:SUN) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 7th. The oil and gas company reported $1.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.65 by $0.50. Sunoco had a return on equity of 38.90% and a net margin of 0.60%. The firm had revenue of $4.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.59 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.08 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 55.4% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Sunoco will post 2.68 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 14th. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 6th were paid a $0.8255 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, November 5th. This represents a $3.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 12.01%. Sunoco’s payout ratio is 144.10%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its stake in shares of Sunoco by 1.4% in the second quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 13,585,922 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $339,105,000 after purchasing an additional 186,248 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in shares of Sunoco by 28.6% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 421,700 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $10,526,000 after purchasing an additional 93,875 shares in the last quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Sunoco in the second quarter valued at $369,000. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS acquired a new position in shares of Sunoco in the second quarter valued at $877,000. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada raised its stake in shares of Sunoco by 120.6% in the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 80,889 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $2,063,000 after purchasing an additional 44,221 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 28.44% of the company’s stock.

Sunoco Company Profile

Sunoco LP, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the wholesale distribution and retail sale of motor fuels primarily in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Wholesale and Retail. It serves convenience stores and commission agent locations, contracted independent convenience store operators, and other commercial customers.

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