Cheniere Energy (LNG) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Cheniere Energy (NYSEAMERICAN:LNG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Following the Q2 earnings miss, Cheniere Energy has been downgraded to 'Hold" from "Buy". The firm posted a net loss in the recent quarter amid high costs. As it is, Cheniere is burdened with huge debt of over $25 billion which restricts its financial freedom. We also need to factor the ongoing trade tensions between U.S. and China which may impact the company adversely. Nonetheless, with its first-mover advantage in exporting liquefied natural gas from the United States, Cheniere is primed for significant revenue and earnings growth. The company's long-term contracts with over 28 countries protect its future income, while offering excellent cash flow visibility. In fact, despite weaker-than-expected Q2 results, Cheniere raised the lower end of its distributable cash flow, as a show of confidence on its robust operations. The interplay of these factors forms the basis of our cautious stance on the stock.”

LNG has been the subject of several other reports. Barclays set a $77.00 price objective on Cheniere Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 5th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Cheniere Energy from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, May 7th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $81.00 price objective on shares of Cheniere Energy in a research report on Friday, July 13th. Bank of America increased their price objective on Cheniere Energy from $63.00 to $69.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 8th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus increased their price objective on Cheniere Energy from $65.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, May 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $66.64.

Cheniere Energy stock traded up $0.89 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $64.43. 17,877 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,256,207. Cheniere Energy has a 12 month low of $40.36 and a 12 month high of $69.50.

Cheniere Energy (NYSEAMERICAN:LNG) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 9th. The energy company reported ($0.07) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.25 by ($0.32). The business had revenue of $1.54 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.64 billion. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned ($1.23) earnings per share.

In related news, Director Heather Zichal sold 3,406 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.72, for a total value of $234,060.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 9,958 shares in the company, valued at $684,313.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Carl C. Icahn sold 9,000,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.93, for a total value of $584,370,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 9,023,406 shares of company stock valued at $585,904,060 over the last three months.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund raised its stake in shares of Cheniere Energy by 1.1% in the first quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 72,595 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $3,880,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE raised its stake in shares of Cheniere Energy by 15.6% in the second quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 6,264 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $409,000 after purchasing an additional 847 shares in the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Cheniere Energy by 1.3% in the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 70,530 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $4,598,000 after purchasing an additional 888 shares in the last quarter. Paradigm Financial Advisors LLC raised its stake in Cheniere Energy by 3.4% during the first quarter. Paradigm Financial Advisors LLC now owns 29,229 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $1,562,000 after acquiring an additional 953 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Great West Life Assurance Co. Can raised its stake in Cheniere Energy by 0.9% during the first quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 115,961 shares of the energy company’s stock worth $6,199,000 after acquiring an additional 996 shares in the last quarter.

Cheniere Energy Company Profile

Cheniere Energy, Inc, an energy company, engages in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) related businesses in the United States. The company operates in two segments, LNG Terminal Business, and LNG and Natural Gas Marketing. It owns and operates Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana; and Corpus Christi LNG terminal near Corpus Christi, Texas.

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