Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) Shares Up 5.5%

Valero Energy Co. (NYSE:VLO) shot up 5.5% on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $50.04 and last traded at $49.10. 6,193,435 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 27% from the average session volume of 4,893,733 shares. The stock had previously closed at $46.56.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on VLO. Morgan Stanley cut their price target on shares of Valero Energy from $70.00 to $68.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, August 11th. Raymond James reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Valero Energy in a report on Wednesday, August 26th. Citigroup upped their price target on shares of Valero Energy from $60.00 to $85.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 16th. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Valero Energy in a research note on Thursday, July 30th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group raised shares of Valero Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $65.00 to $62.00 in a research note on Monday, July 20th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $72.07.

The company has a market cap of $20.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.96 and a beta of 1.82. The company has a current ratio of 1.75, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $52.68 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $55.87.

Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 30th. The oil and gas company reported ($1.25) earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($1.41) by $0.16. Valero Energy had a return on equity of 5.30% and a net margin of 1.22%. The company had revenue of $10.40 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.46 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.51 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 64.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Valero Energy Co. will post -2.31 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 2nd. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 4th were issued a $0.98 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, August 3rd. This represents a $3.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.98%. Valero Energy’s dividend payout ratio is currently 68.77%.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Balentine LLC acquired a new position in Valero Energy in the first quarter worth approximately $25,000. Hoover Financial Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in Valero Energy in the second quarter worth approximately $35,000. Demars Financial Group LLC acquired a new position in Valero Energy in the second quarter worth approximately $36,000. Truvestments Capital LLC acquired a new position in Valero Energy in the first quarter worth approximately $36,000. Finally, Harbor Investment Advisory LLC increased its holdings in Valero Energy by 1,291.8% in the first quarter. Harbor Investment Advisory LLC now owns 849 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $39,000 after buying an additional 788 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.55% of the company’s stock.

About Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO)

Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and ethanol producing company in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and internationally. It operates through three segments: Refining, Ethanol, and VLP (Valero Energy Partners LP). The company is involved in oil and gas refining, marketing, and bulk selling activities.

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