Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “In last three months Occidental Petroleum’s shares lost more than the Zacks categorized broader industry. The recent weakness in oil prices could jeopardize Occidental Petroleum’s plan to gain by producing more oil from the Permian Resources. The highly competitive oil and gas space, operational interruptions and stringent environmental regulations are headwinds. However, Occidental has plans to sell its low-margin assets and focus on higher-quality assets. Its systematic capital spending program and focus in areas like Permian Resources having high oil content could boost its performance in the long term.”

Several other brokerages have also weighed in on OXY. Evercore ISI lowered shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, March 3rd. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $73.00 target price on shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation in a research note on Friday, March 31st. Bank of America Corporation raised shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 15th. Credit Suisse Group raised shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $70.00 to $79.00 in a research note on Tuesday, March 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Scotiabank set a $68.00 target price on shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, March 27th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $72.11.

Analyst Recommendations for Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY)

Shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) traded down 0.90% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $60.45. 255,452 shares of the company were exchanged. Occidental Petroleum Corporation has a 52 week low of $57.20 and a 52 week high of $78.48. The firm’s market capitalization is $46.22 billion. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $60.65 and a 200 day moving average of $65.48.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The oil and gas producer reported $0.15 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $2.98 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.96 billion. Occidental Petroleum Corporation had a negative net margin of 4.82% and a negative return on equity of 1.04%. Occidental Petroleum Corporation’s revenue was up 30.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted ($0.47) earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Occidental Petroleum Corporation will post $0.98 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 14th. Investors of record on Friday, June 9th will be issued a $0.76 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 7th. This represents a $3.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.98%. Occidental Petroleum Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -428.17%.

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In related news, Director Stephen I. Chazen sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.27, for a total value of $253,080.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 1,492,619 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $94,438,004.13. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Cedric W. Burgher bought 1,700 shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 7th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $59.85 per share, for a total transaction of $101,745.00. Following the acquisition, the chief financial officer now owns 44,124 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,640,821.40. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 36,000 shares of company stock worth $2,252,080. 0.32% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation during the first quarter valued at $102,000. Parallel Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation by 15.6% in the first quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,961 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $118,000 after buying an additional 264 shares in the last quarter. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC raised its position in shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation by 4.0% in the first quarter. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC now owns 1,887 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 72 shares in the last quarter. FNY Partners Fund LP bought a new position in shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation during the first quarter valued at approximately $126,000. Finally, Advantage Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $139,000. 81.49% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Occidental Petroleum Corporation

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Occidental) is an oil and gas exploration and production company. The Company operates through three segments: oil and gas, chemical (OxyChem), and midstream and marketing. The oil and gas segment explores for, develops and produces oil and condensate, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and natural gas.

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