Should Investors Consider Buying Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) Shares Now That Argus Has Upgraded The Stock?

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Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) Stock Upgrade

In a recent report revealed to investors and clients on Wednesday morning, Argus hiked Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) shares to respectable “Buy” rating from a “Hold”. They now have a $78 target PPS on shares. and their target PPS would now indicate a possible upside of 14.19% over the stock price.

From a total of 15 analysts covering Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) stock, 16 rate it a ”Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 3 a ”Hold”. This means that 80% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $95 while the lowest target price is $66. The mean of all analyst targets is $79.47 with a 13.06% above today’s ($68.32) stock price. Valero Energy Corporation was the topic of 13 analyst reports since July 24, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Oppenheimer maintained shares on September 5 with “Outperform” rating. Oppenheimer maintained shares with “Outperform” rating and $80 target share price in a report from an August 3. Vetr downgraded VLO stock in a recent report from August 11 to “Strong-Buy” rating. Finally, Macquarie Research initiated the stock with “Outperform” rating in a report issued on a July 24.

The stock increased 1.14% or $0.77 on December 16, striking $68.32. Approximately 1,216 shares of stock traded hands. Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) has risen 17.21% since May 13, 2015 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 19.83% the S&P500.

The overall sentiment of institutions has decreased to 0.94 in Q2 2015. Its down 0.15, from 1.09 in 2015Q2. The ratio dropped, as 61 institutions have sold all the shares of Valero Energy Corporation that they owned while 330 funds have taken shares off the table. 98 funds have purchased shares for the first time while 271 added to their positions. These institutions now hold 420.07 million shares or 4.51% more than the 401.95 million shares they owned in 2015Q2.

The Fund Ing Groep Nv currently is holding shares equating to 20.07% of its total portfolio in Valero Energy Corporation representing a total of 60.39 million shares. Another fund,Wilsey Asset Management Inc, is holding a total of 205,628 shares equating to 9.55% of their holdings. Additionally, Foundation Resource Management Inc has a 692,729 share stake in Valero Energy Corporation which represents 8.95% of their total portfolio. The Fund, Private Management Group Inc, based out of California, has also built up a stake in the stock, which represents a total of 4.39% of their total portfolio. Finally Towle & Co, a fund which is based in the state of Missouri reported a total holdings of 310,923 shares.

Insider activity is a very important aspect to track on any stock. Going back to March 16, 2015, shareholders of Valero Energy Corporation have witnessed 0 insider buys, and a total of 3 insider sales equating to a net activity of approximately $2.60 million . Ciskowski Michael S sold 29,910 shares worth approximately $2.04M. Waters Stephen M sold 4,000 shares worth approximately $262,151. Nickles Donald L sold 3,000 shares worth approximately $174,003.

Valero Energy Corp is an international maker and marketer of transportation fuels, other petrochemical products and power. The company has a market cap of $32.53 billion. The Company’s refineries can produce conventional gasolines, premium gasolines, gasoline, diesel fuel, low-sulfur diesel fuel, ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, CARB diesel fuel, other distillates, jet fuel, asphalt, petrochemicals, lubricants, and other refined products. It has 7.19 P/E ratio. The Firm markets branded and unbranded refined products through approximately 7,400 outlets.

According to Zacks Investment Research, “Valero Energy Corporation owns and operates refineries in the United States and Canada with a combined throughput capacity of approximately two million BPD, making it one of the nation’s top refiners of petroleum products. Valero is also one of the nation’s leading retail operators with retail outlets in the United States and Canada under various brand names including Diamond Shamrock, Ultramar, Valero, Beacon and Total.”

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