Traders Sell Valero Energy (VLO) on Strength (VLO)

Investors sold shares of Valero Energy Co. (NYSE:VLO) on strength during trading hours on Monday. $57.90 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $135.47 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $77.57 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Valero Energy had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Valero Energy traded up $1.42 for the day and closed at $88.84

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $78.00 price objective on shares of Valero Energy in a report on Friday, November 17th. Citigroup raised shares of Valero Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $114.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday. Cowen reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $90.00 price target on shares of Valero Energy in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Standpoint Research downgraded shares of Valero Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $84.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Thursday, November 16th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group started coverage on shares of Valero Energy in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $91.00 price target on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $90.12.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a current ratio of 1.91 and a quick ratio of 1.24. The stock has a market capitalization of $38,874.70, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.11 and a beta of 0.99.

Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The oil and gas company reported $1.16 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $26.39 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $23.02 billion. Valero Energy had a net margin of 4.33% and a return on equity of 10.55%. The company’s revenue was up 27.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.81 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Valero Energy Co. will post 7.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 6th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.80 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 12th. This is an increase from Valero Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.50%. Valero Energy’s dividend payout ratio is 34.63%.

Valero Energy announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, January 23rd that allows the company to buyback $2.50 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the oil and gas company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Valero Energy news, CFO Michael S. Ciskowski sold 251,530 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.29, for a total transaction of $23,465,233.70. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 309,119 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $28,837,711.51. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Stephen M. Waters sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.23, for a total transaction of $87,230.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 298,187 shares of company stock worth $27,611,828. Insiders own 0.45% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. purchased a new stake in Valero Energy during the third quarter valued at about $1,910,000. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its position in shares of Valero Energy by 14.5% during the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 3,251,977 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $250,174,000 after buying an additional 411,630 shares during the period. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec increased its position in shares of Valero Energy by 2.0% during the third quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 366,000 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $28,275,000 after buying an additional 7,200 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in shares of Valero Energy by 45.7% during the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 251,747 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $19,367,000 after buying an additional 78,904 shares during the period. Finally, BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp increased its position in shares of Valero Energy by 33.1% during the third quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 339,163 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $26,092,000 after buying an additional 84,254 shares during the period. 81.03% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Valero Energy

Valero Energy Corporation (Valero) is an independent petroleum refiner and ethanol producer. The Company’s segments include refining, ethanol and Valero Energy Partners LP (VLP). The refining segment includes its refining operations and the associated marketing activities. The ethanol segment includes its ethanol operations and the associated marketing activities, and logistics assets that support its ethanol operations.

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