Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Range Resources Corp. (NYSE:RRC) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Saturday morning. They currently have $31.00 price objective on the oil and gas exploration company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “We believe Range Resources’ large acreage will support several years of oil and gas drilling in the fast-growing fields. Moreover, the company completed the merger with Memorial Resource Development Corp. The transaction is expected to boost the company’s position as a premier independent natural gas, oil and NGL producer in the U.S. For 2017, the company has set its production guidance at approximately 2.07 Bcfe per day, which translates to annual growth rate of 33–35%. Given the recovery of natural gas prices from the multiyear low levels, we expect the company to be able to sell the increased output at higher prices. It is to be noted that the higher year-over-year capital budget projection for 2017 was issued after two successive years of capital spending reduction. We expect this to support this year’s production growth to quite an extent.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on RRC. Stifel Nicolaus lowered their price objective on shares of Range Resources Corp. from $52.00 to $48.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, March 23rd. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a buy rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Range Resources Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, January 18th. Barclays PLC lowered their price objective on shares of Range Resources Corp. from $28.00 to $27.00 and set an underweight rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, January 26th. Nomura upgraded shares of Range Resources Corp. from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $45.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, February 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a buy rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Range Resources Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, January 4th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and twenty-four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $45.71.

Shares of Range Resources Corp. (NYSE:RRC) traded up 0.22% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $27.67. The stock had a trading volume of 2,361,622 shares. The company’s market cap is $6.75 billion. Range Resources Corp. has a one year low of $26.61 and a one year high of $46.96. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $28.14 and its 200-day moving average price is $32.91. Range Resources Corp. also saw some unusual options trading activity on Tuesday. Stock investors bought 21,507 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 981% compared to the average daily volume of 1,990 put options.

Range Resources Corp. (NYSE:RRC) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 22nd. The oil and gas exploration company reported $0.23 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.10 by $0.13. The company earned $590.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $525.26 million. Range Resources Corp. had a negative net margin of 54.13% and a negative return on equity of 13.00%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 44.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.25 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Range Resources Corp. will post $0.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 31st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 15th were issued a $0.02 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, March 13th. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.29%. Range Resources Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently -1.97%.

In other news, Director Christopher A. Helms bought 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 17th. The stock was bought at an average price of $27.46 per share, for a total transaction of $109,840.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 15,931 shares in the company, valued at approximately $437,465.26. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in RRC. Retirement Systems of Alabama raised its position in Range Resources Corp. by 2.1% in the first quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 90,931 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock valued at $2,646,000 after buying an additional 1,904 shares during the last quarter. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new position in Range Resources Corp. during the first quarter valued at $260,000. DnB Asset Management AS raised its position in Range Resources Corp. by 31.9% in the first quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 19,420 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock valued at $565,000 after buying an additional 4,700 shares during the last quarter. Harvey Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in Range Resources Corp. during the first quarter valued at $1,492,000. Finally, Fox Run Management L.L.C. bought a new position in Range Resources Corp. during the first quarter valued at $381,000. Institutional investors own 87.70% of the company’s stock.

About Range Resources Corp.

Range Resources Corporation is an independent natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and oil company. The Company is engaged in the exploration and production of natural gas, NGLs and oil in the United States. It is engaged in the exploration, development and acquisition of natural gas and crude oil properties located primarily in the Appalachian and North Louisiana regions of the United States.

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