NuStar Energy (NS) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of NuStar Energy (NYSE:NS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Considering NuStar Energy's weak distribution coverage and guidance for reduced investor payout, we have turned bearish on the partnership. NuStar recently reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings due to a light quarter from the ‘Pipeline’ segment, amid higher operating and depreciation costs, as well as lower products sale in the Fuels Marketing unit. Worryingly, the distribution coverage ratio dipped to a dismal 0.41x in the fourth quarter – down from 1.02x a year ago. Investor sentiment took a further beating after the partnership announced plans to reduce its quarterly distribution as part of the impending merger with its general partner. As it is, NuStar's debt-to-equity ratio of nearly 2 is significantly above the industry average. In the wake of these apprehensions, we see little reason for investors to hold the stock.”

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Mizuho reiterated a hold rating and issued a $24.00 price target on shares of NuStar Energy in a research note on Wednesday. B. Riley downgraded shares of NuStar Energy to a hold rating and set a $26.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, March 20th. JPMorgan Chase reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $25.00 price target (down previously from $27.00) on shares of NuStar Energy in a research report on Tuesday, March 13th. UBS reiterated a buy rating and issued a $27.00 price target (down previously from $28.00) on shares of NuStar Energy in a research report on Friday, March 2nd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus set a $26.00 price target on shares of NuStar Energy and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Friday, February 9th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $31.90.



Shares of NS stock traded up $0.15 during trading on Thursday, reaching $21.03. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 142,520 shares, compared to its average volume of 786,140. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.32, a quick ratio of 0.34 and a current ratio of 0.38. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,931.66, a P/E ratio of 32.84 and a beta of 1.46. NuStar Energy has a 1-year low of $19.22 and a 1-year high of $49.21.

NuStar Energy (NYSE:NS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The pipeline company reported $0.00 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.17 by ($0.17). NuStar Energy had a net margin of 8.16% and a return on equity of 7.82%. The business had revenue of $450.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $435.46 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.31 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts forecast that NuStar Energy will post 1.57 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its stake in NuStar Energy by 7.3% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 2,406 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $112,000 after purchasing an additional 163 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA bought a new position in NuStar Energy in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $217,000. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC increased its position in NuStar Energy by 197.8% in the 3rd quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 5,361 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $218,000 after buying an additional 3,561 shares during the period. Kovack Advisors Inc. bought a new position in NuStar Energy in the 4th quarter worth approximately $206,000. Finally, Icon Wealth Partners LLC bought a new position in NuStar Energy in the 4th quarter worth approximately $212,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 60.10% of the company’s stock.

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NuStar Energy Company Profile

NuStar Energy L.P. is engaged in the transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia; the terminalling and storage of petroleum products, and the marketing of petroleum products. The Company’s segments include pipeline, storage and fuels marketing. The pipeline segment consists of the transportation of refined petroleum products, crude oil and anhydrous ammonia.

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