Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in July. As of July 15th, there was short interest totalling 11,602,300 shares, a decrease of 16.7% from the June 15th total of 13,935,200 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 2,980,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 3.9 days. Approximately 4.3% of the company’s stock are short sold.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on HES. Morgan Stanley set a $23.00 target price on shares of Cabot Oil & Gas and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, June 24th. MKM Partners raised shares of Matador Resources from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $22.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, May 28th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of German American Bancorp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 30th. Capital One Financial raised shares of Hess from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 15th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Zosano Pharma from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $69.46.

Shares of HES stock traded up $0.02 during trading on Friday, reaching $59.83. 2,638,742 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,268,243. The company has a market capitalization of $18.15 billion, a P/E ratio of -80.85 and a beta of 1.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 1.69 and a quick ratio of 1.57. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $60.85. Hess has a 1 year low of $35.59 and a 1 year high of $74.81.

Hess (NYSE:HES) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The oil and gas producer reported $0.09 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.26) by $0.35. The company had revenue of $1.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.43 billion. Hess had a negative net margin of 0.75% and a positive return on equity of 0.20%. Hess’s revenue was up 15.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted ($0.27) EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Hess will post -0.23 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 28th. Investors of record on Monday, June 17th were paid a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.67%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, June 14th. Hess’s payout ratio is currently -135.14%.

In other Hess news, insider Michael R. Turner sold 30,345 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.17, for a total value of $1,977,583.65. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 94,537 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,160,976.29. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Andrew P. Slentz sold 2,081 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.52, for a total transaction of $130,104.12. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 19,119 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,195,319.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 140,158 shares of company stock valued at $9,196,837 over the last ninety days. 12.22% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans lifted its stake in shares of Hess by 1.8% during the 4th quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 11,444 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $463,000 after buying an additional 201 shares in the last quarter. Hartford Investment Management Co. lifted its stake in Hess by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. Hartford Investment Management Co. now owns 27,602 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $1,662,000 after purchasing an additional 203 shares in the last quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System lifted its stake in Hess by 2.3% in the 1st quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 13,400 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $807,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama lifted its stake in Hess by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 118,869 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $7,557,000 after purchasing an additional 340 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Investec Asset Management PTY Ltd lifted its stake in Hess by 2.7% in the 1st quarter. Investec Asset Management PTY Ltd now owns 15,752 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $959,000 after purchasing an additional 410 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 92.96% of the company’s stock.

Hess Company Profile

Hess Corporation, an exploration and production company, explores for, develops, produces, purchases, transports, and sells crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and natural gas. It operates through two segments, Exploration and Production, and Midstream. The company conducts production operations primarily in the United States, Denmark, the Malaysia/Thailand Joint Development Area, and Malaysia; and exploration activities primarily offshore Guyana, Suriname, Canada, and in the Gulf of Mexico.

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