Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Thursday, January 4th.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Cabot have surged 29.1% in the last twelve months, handily outperforming the broader industry's decline of 14.1%. COG's recent divestiture of non-core Eagle Ford assets have transformed it into a pure-play Marcellus operator. Increased focus on the Marcellus shale will enable the company to deliver double-digit growth per debt-adjusted share from the region. We believe COG’s execution success, continued expense management and improving well economics will further enhance its outlook, driving the shareholder value by share buyback programs and dividend growth. However, being a natural gas-weighted company, Cabot continues to reel under the effects of the commodity's price struggles as reflected by its failure to beat estimates in 9 of the last 10 quarters. As it is, delays in the development of the Constitution pipeline keep us worried. Considering these factors, we see limited upside from current levels.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. TheStreet upgraded Cabot Oil & Gas from a d+ rating to a c rating in a report on Friday, October 6th. Piper Jaffray Companies decreased their price target on Cabot Oil & Gas from $32.00 to $31.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a report on Monday, September 18th. BMO Capital Markets set a $30.00 price target on Cabot Oil & Gas and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Drexel Hamilton upped their price target on Cabot Oil & Gas from $27.82 to $32.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, Raymond James Financial lowered Cabot Oil & Gas from an outperform rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, twelve have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $31.53.

Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE COG) opened at $26.83 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $12,871.61, a P/E ratio of -87.29, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.86 and a beta of 0.53. Cabot Oil & Gas has a fifty-two week low of $20.55 and a fifty-two week high of $29.57. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49, a current ratio of 1.64 and a quick ratio of 1.61.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 7th. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 24th will be given a dividend of $0.06 per share. This is a positive change from Cabot Oil & Gas’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.05. This represents a $0.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.89%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 23rd. Cabot Oil & Gas’s dividend payout ratio is currently -77.42%.

In related news, Chairman Dan O. Dinges sold 66,610 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.92, for a total transaction of $1,859,751.20. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 2,887,018 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $80,605,542.56. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.60% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. bought a new position in Cabot Oil & Gas during the 2nd quarter worth $100,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in Cabot Oil & Gas during the 3rd quarter worth $130,000. MHI Funds LLC bought a new position in shares of Cabot Oil & Gas in the fourth quarter worth $147,000. Pinebridge Investments L.P. bought a new position in shares of Cabot Oil & Gas in the second quarter worth $163,000. Finally, Private Advisor Group LLC bought a new position in shares of Cabot Oil & Gas in the second quarter worth $201,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.01% of the company’s stock.

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About Cabot Oil & Gas

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation is an independent oil and gas company engaged in the development, exploitation and exploration of oil and gas properties. The Company operates in the segment of natural gas and oil development, exploitation, exploration and production, in the continental United States. Its assets are concentrated in areas with known hydrocarbon resources, which are conducive to multi-well, repeatable drilling programs.

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