Short Interest in Hess Co. (HES) Decreases By 24.1%

Hess Co. (NYSE:HES) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in April. As of April 30th, there was short interest totalling 25,209,672 shares, a decrease of 24.1% from the April 13th total of 33,202,169 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 4,665,104 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 5.4 days. Approximately 9.0% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

In other news, COO Gregory P. Hill sold 7,422 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.04, for a total transaction of $356,552.88. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 90,600 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,352,424. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO John B. Hess sold 51,014 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.63, for a total transaction of $2,480,810.82. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,813,548 shares in the company, valued at $88,192,839.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 65,070 shares of company stock worth $3,154,064. Corporate insiders own 11.80% of the company’s stock.

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A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in Hess by 3.9% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 5,417,438 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $257,165,000 after acquiring an additional 203,463 shares during the last quarter. Levin Capital Strategies L.P. raised its holdings in Hess by 4.5% in the 4th quarter. Levin Capital Strategies L.P. now owns 4,193,086 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $199,046,000 after acquiring an additional 179,125 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its holdings in Hess by 17.4% in the 4th quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 3,679,502 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $174,666,000 after acquiring an additional 545,558 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Hess by 3.0% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,928,183 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $138,707,000 after acquiring an additional 85,707 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Impala Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in Hess by 62.9% in the 4th quarter. Impala Asset Management LLC now owns 2,295,452 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $108,965,000 after acquiring an additional 886,096 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 95.66% of the company’s stock.

HES stock opened at $63.46 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $18.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -13.77 and a beta of 1.43. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 2.63 and a quick ratio of 2.51. Hess has a 12 month low of $62.68 and a 12 month high of $63.82.

Hess (NYSE:HES) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 25th. The oil and gas producer reported ($0.27) EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.50) by $0.23. The company had revenue of $1.39 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.23 billion. Hess had a negative net margin of 69.10% and a negative return on equity of 8.54%. Hess’s quarterly revenue was up 10.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned ($1.07) EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Hess will post -1.07 earnings per share for the current year.

Hess announced that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, March 8th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the oil and gas producer to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Macquarie reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $58.00 price target (down from $63.00) on shares of Hess in a research note on Wednesday, February 21st. BMO Capital Markets decreased their price target on shares of Hess from $50.00 to $48.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. ValuEngine raised shares of Hess from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, April 2nd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Hess from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, April 30th. Finally, UBS assumed coverage on shares of Hess in a research note on Wednesday, March 7th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $50.00 price target on the stock. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.97.

About Hess

Hess Corporation, an exploration and production company, develops, produces, purchases, transports, and sells crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and natural gas. It operates through two segments, Exploration and Production, and Midstream. The company conducts production operations primarily in the United States, Denmark, the Malaysia/Thailand Joint Development Area, and Malaysia; and exploration activities primarily offshore Guyana, Suriname, Canada, and in the Gulf of Mexico.

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