Argus Issues a Downgrade for Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) from a Buy to Hold Rating

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Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) Receives a Downgrade

The old rating for Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) shares of a Buy has been discontinued, as professional analysts at Argus downgraded the current rating for Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) shares to a Hold.

From a total of 29 analysts covering Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL) stock, 20 rate it a ”Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 13 a ”Hold”. This means that 61% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $60 while the lowest target price is $36. The mean of all analyst targets is $45.07 with a 43.42% above today’s ($32.82) stock price. Noble Energy Inc. was the topic of 22 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Howard Weil downgraded shares on December 14 to “Sector Perform” rating. Citigroup maintained shares with “Neutral” rating and $35 target share price in a report from a September 14. RBC Capital Markets maintained NBL stock in a recent report from November 17 with “Outperform” rating. Wunderlich maintained the rating on September 4. Wunderlich has a “Buy” rating and a $60 price target on shares. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus maintained the stock with “Buy” rating in a report issued on a November 3.

The stock increased 3.37% or $1.07 on December 16, striking $32.82. Approximately 100 shares of stock traded hands. Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) has declined 27.52% since May 13, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 24.89% the S&P500.

The overall sentiment of institutions has increased to 1.42 in Q2 2015. Its up 0.18, from 1.24 in 2015Q2. The ratio improved, as 78 institutions have sold all the shares of Noble Energy, Inc. that they owned while 122 funds have taken shares off the table. 65 funds have purchased shares for the first time while 219 added to their positions. These institutions now hold 378.20 million shares or 2.74% more than the 368.10 million shares they owned in 2015Q2.

The Fund Oslo Asset Management Asa currently is holding shares equating to 17.51% of its total portfolio in Noble Energy, Inc. representing a total of 535,000 shares. Another fund,Sailingstone Capital Partners Llc, is holding a total of 13.11 million shares equating to 12.17% of their holdings. Additionally, Wcg Management L.P. has a 780,000 share stake in Noble Energy, Inc. which represents 10.63% of their total portfolio. The Fund, Sound Energy Partners Inc., based out of Connecticut, has also built up a stake in the stock, which represents a total of 6.74% of their total portfolio. Finally Mitchell Group Inc, a fund which is based in the state of Texas reported a total holdings of 1.25 million shares.

Insider activity is a very important aspect to track on any stock. Going back to April 6, 2015, shareholders of Noble Energy, Inc. have witnessed 0 buys, and a total of 2 selling transactions equating to a net activity of approximately $1.02 million . Cunningham Susan M sold 16,000 shares worth approximately $566,080. Edelman Thomas J sold 11,000 shares worth approximately $454,300.

Noble Energy, Inc. is an independent energy firm engaged in crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids exploration and production. The company has a market cap of $13.61 billion. The Company’s activities are grouped into four components: the United States; West Africa , and Other International and Corporate. It has 394.61 P/E ratio. The Company’s assets in the United States include DJ Basin, Marcellus Shale, Deepwater Gulf of Mexico and Other Onshore US.

According to Zacks Investment Research, “Noble Energy, the parent company of Samedan Oil Corporation, Noble Gas Marketing, Inc. and Noble Trading, Inc., is one of the nation’s leading independent energy companies. Noble Energy operates throughout major basins in the United Stated including the Gulf of Mexico, as well as internationally, in Argentina, China, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, the Mediterranean Sea, the North Sea and Vietnam.”

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