Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday morning.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Cabot have surged 29.1% in the last twelve months, handily outperforming the broader industry's decline of 14.1%. COG's recent divestiture of non-core Eagle Ford assets have transformed it into a pure-play Marcellus operator. Increased focus on the Marcellus shale will enable the company to deliver double-digit growth per debt-adjusted share from the region. We believe COG’s execution success, continued expense management and improving well economics will further enhance its outlook, driving the shareholder value by share buyback programs and dividend growth. However, being a natural gas-weighted company, Cabot continues to reel under the effects of the commodity's price struggles as reflected by its failure to beat estimates in 9 of the last 10 quarters. As it is, delays in the development of the Constitution pipeline keep us worried. Considering these factors, we see limited upside from current levels.”
Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Raymond James Financial downgraded shares of Cabot Oil & Gas from an outperform rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $37.00 price target on shares of Cabot Oil & Gas and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. Williams Capital set a $30.00 price target on shares of Cabot Oil & Gas and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a sell rating on shares of Cabot Oil & Gas in a research note on Thursday, December 14th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group began coverage on shares of Cabot Oil & Gas in a research note on Monday, December 11th. They set a neutral rating and a $30.00 price target for the company. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $30.95.
Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The oil and gas exploration company reported $0.07 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.08 by ($0.01). Cabot Oil & Gas had a negative net margin of 8.80% and a positive return on equity of 6.63%. The company had revenue of $385.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $400.85 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.04) EPS. The business’s revenue was up 24.2% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Cabot Oil & Gas will post 0.5 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 7th. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 24th will be paid a $0.06 dividend. This is an increase from Cabot Oil & Gas’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.05. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 23rd. This represents a $0.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.83%. Cabot Oil & Gas’s payout ratio is -62.50%.
In related news, Chairman Dan O. Dinges sold 66,610 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.92, for a total value of $1,859,751.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 2,887,018 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $80,605,542.56. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Robert Kelley acquired 2,000 shares of Cabot Oil & Gas stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $27.47 per share, with a total value of $54,940.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 619,500 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,017,665. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 1.60% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in Cabot Oil & Gas by 2.8% in the second quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 9,917 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $249,000 after purchasing an additional 271 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans grew its holdings in Cabot Oil & Gas by 1.8% in the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 17,800 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $446,000 after purchasing an additional 310 shares during the last quarter. Veritable L.P. grew its holdings in Cabot Oil & Gas by 3.8% in the second quarter. Veritable L.P. now owns 15,418 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $387,000 after purchasing an additional 560 shares during the last quarter. Kingfisher Capital LLC grew its holdings in Cabot Oil & Gas by 1.5% in the second quarter. Kingfisher Capital LLC now owns 48,184 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $1,208,000 after purchasing an additional 728 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Evercore Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in Cabot Oil & Gas by 1.6% in the second quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 55,297 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $1,387,000 after purchasing an additional 897 shares during the last quarter. 95.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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About Cabot Oil & Gas
Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation is an independent oil and gas company engaged in the development, exploitation and exploration of oil and gas properties. The Company operates in the segment of natural gas and oil development, exploitation, exploration and production, in the continental United States. Its assets are concentrated in areas with known hydrocarbon resources, which are conducive to multi-well, repeatable drilling programs.
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