Hess (HES) Gets a Buy Rating from Merrill Lynch

By Jason Carr

In a report released today, Doug Leggate from Merrill Lynch maintained a Buy rating on Hess (HESResearch Report), with a price target of $80.00. The company’s shares closed last Monday at $58.77.

According to TipRanks.com, Leggate is a 1-star analyst with an average return of -3.2% and a 41.1% success rate. Leggate covers the Basic Materials sector, focusing on stocks such as Range Resources, EOG Resources, and Marathon Oil.

Currently, the analyst consensus on Hess is a Strong Buy with an average price target of $76.75, which is a 33.8% upside from current levels. In a report issued on January 30, Scotiabank also upgraded the stock to Buy with a $79.00 price target.

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Based on Hess’ latest earnings release for the quarter ending December 31, the company reported a quarterly revenue of $1.68 billion and GAAP net loss of $222 million. In comparison, last year the company earned revenue of $1.35 billion and had a GAAP net loss of $4 million.

Based on the recent corporate insider activity of 73 insiders, corporate insider sentiment is negative on the stock. This means that over the past quarter there has been an increase of insiders selling their shares of HES in relation to earlier this year.

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Hess Corp is an exploration and production company, which engages in exploration, development, production, transportation, purchase & sale of crude oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas with production operations. It operates through the following segments: Exploration and Production and Midstream.