Whiting Petroleum Corp (WLL) Stock Falters While Other Oil Stocks Rise – What’s the reason?

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Investors of Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL) are wondering why shares of the stock are down so much today, even though the oil sector as a whole has seen share prices go up. Typically oil stocks trade in the same direction, so what coud be the reason why Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL) is bucking this trend?

“Has anyone read or heard anything credible to tell people why this stock is down when all other oil stocks are up,” asked one investor via StockTwits.

For starters, a recent downgrade by Moody’s Investor Services late Thursday which dropped the company from Ba2 to Caa1 is most likely the culprit. The 5-notch rating drop certainly doesn’t bode well for the company. It should be interesting to see if this stock can make up any ground going into the long weekend.

The stock is down 4.49% or $0.22 following the news, hitting $4.68 per share. About 22.18M shares traded hands or 7.98% up from the average. WLL has declined 84.07% since July 9, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 74.60%.

From a total of 18 analysts covering Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL) stock, 6 rate it a “Buy”, 3 a “Sell”, and 9 a “Hold”. This means that 33% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $50 while the lowest target price is $6. The mean of all analyst targets is $21.97 which is 369.44% above today’s ($4.68) stock price. Whiting Petroleum Corporation was the topic of 53 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Wunderlich downgraded shares on January 28 to a “Hold” rating. JP Morgan initiated shares with a”Overweight” rating and a $19 target share price in their report from a December 9. UBS downgraded WLL stock in a recent report from January 13 to a “Neutral” rating. Morgan Stanley downgraded the rating on October 13. Morgan Stanley has a “Equal-Weight” rating and a $23 price target on shares. Finally, BMO Capital Markets downgraded the stock to a “Market Perform” rating in a report they issued on a December 22.

The institutional sentiment decreased to 0.92 in Q2 2015. It’s down 0.14, from 1.06 in 2015Q2. The ratio turned negative, as 90 funds sold all their Whiting Petroleum Corp shares they owned while 116 reduced their positions. 51 funds bought stakes while 139 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 171.87 million shares which is 4.89% less than the previous share count of 180.70 million in 2015Q2.

Vr Advisory Services Ltd holds 6.45% of its total portfolio in Whiting Petroleum Corp, equating to 280,000 shares. Sound Energy Partners Inc. owns 163,900 shares representing 5.06% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Glendon Capital Management Lp has 4.93% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 621,120 shares. The Kansas-based Blackthorn Investment Group Llc has a total of 4.55% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Tbp Investments Management Llc, a Texas-based fund reported 105,000 shares owned.

Whiting Petroleum Corporation is an independent gas and oil company. The company has a market cap of $878.46 million. The Firm is engaged in exploration, development, acquisition and production of crude oil, NGLs and natural gas in the Rocky Mountains and Permian Basin regions of the United States. It currently has negative earnings. The Company’s Rocky Mountains activities include assets in the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.