Valero Energy (VLO) Trading Up 5.5% on Strong Earnings

Valero Energy Co. (NYSE:VLO) was up 5.5% during mid-day trading on Thursday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock traded as high as $88.36 and last traded at $87.82. Approximately 8,796,664 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 92% from the average daily volume of 4,585,255 shares. The stock had previously closed at $83.28.

The oil and gas company reported $2.12 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $1.09. Valero Energy had a net margin of 2.67% and a return on equity of 13.60%. The business had revenue of $28.73 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $23.26 billion.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 5th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.90 per share. This is an increase from Valero Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. This represents a $3.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.22%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 12th. Valero Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 43.42%.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on VLO shares. Macquarie raised shares of Valero Energy from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $81.20 price target for the company in a report on Friday, January 18th. Morgan Stanley set a $145.00 price target on shares of Valero Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 12th. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued an “overweight” rating on shares of Valero Energy in a report on Thursday, January 10th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Valero Energy from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, January 5th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group downgraded shares of Valero Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, October 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $113.44.

In other Valero Energy news, Director Randall J. Weisenburger purchased 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 11th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $72.74 per share, with a total value of $1,818,500.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 53,717 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,907,374.58. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.41% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of VLO. Strategic Wealth Partners Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Valero Energy by 876.2% during the fourth quarter. Strategic Wealth Partners Ltd. now owns 410 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $33,000 after buying an additional 368 shares during the last quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in Valero Energy by 51.4% during the fourth quarter. Baystate Wealth Management LLC now owns 642 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $53,000 after purchasing an additional 218 shares during the period. First Mercantile Trust Co. grew its holdings in Valero Energy by 66.0% during the fourth quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 780 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $58,000 after purchasing an additional 310 shares during the period. We Are One Seven LLC acquired a new position in Valero Energy during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $63,000. Finally, Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. grew its holdings in Valero Energy by 15.1% during the fourth quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. now owns 1,142 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $86,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares during the period. 78.03% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The firm has a market cap of $37.26 billion, a PE ratio of 11.57, a P/E/G ratio of 0.49 and a beta of 1.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a current ratio of 1.59.

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Valero Energy Company Profile (NYSE:VLO)

Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and ethanol producing company. It operates through three segments: Refining, Ethanol, and VLP (Valero Energy Partners LP). The company is involved in oil and gas refining, marketing, and bulk selling activities. It produces conventional and premium gasolines, gasoline meeting the specifications of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), diesel fuels, low-sulfur and ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuels, CARB diesel, other distillates, jet fuels, asphalts, petrochemicals, lubricants, and other refined petroleum products.

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