Total (TOT) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Total (NYSE:TOT) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “TOTAL’s fourth-quarter earnings per share lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate but improved year over year due to strong production growth. TOTAL continues to benefit from strong contribution from its new startups. The company is utilizing its strong cash-flow generating capacity to strengthen its balance sheet and repurchase outstanding shares, which are positively impacting earnings. The ongoing cost-saving initiatives are likely to have a positive impact on its margins. In the past three months, shares of TOTAL have gained against a decline of its industry. However, operations in some politically-troubled regions and increasing competition might impact the company’s profitability. Due to its global presence, it is also exposed to risks associated with pursuing business abroad.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on TOT. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a sell rating on shares of Total in a research note on Thursday, October 18th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated an overweight rating on shares of Total in a research note on Tuesday, October 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a hold rating on shares of Total in a research note on Friday, October 26th. Goldman Sachs Group reiterated a buy rating on shares of Total in a research note on Friday, October 26th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a buy rating on shares of Total in a research note on Friday, October 26th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Total has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $48.75.

Shares of TOT stock opened at $55.61 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 1.28, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34. Total has a 1 year low of $49.70 and a 1 year high of $65.69. The firm has a market capitalization of $137.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.02 and a beta of 0.70.

Total (NYSE:TOT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The oil and gas exploration company reported $1.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.17. Total had a net margin of 5.47% and a return on equity of 11.16%. The firm had revenue of $52.50 billion for the quarter. Research analysts expect that Total will post 5.39 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, January 17th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 17th were paid a dividend of $0.7267 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 14th. This represents a $2.91 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.23%. Total’s dividend payout ratio is presently 48.91%.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Fisher Asset Management LLC grew its stake in Total by 2,993.5% in the 3rd quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 16,285,755 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock valued at $1,048,640,000 after buying an additional 15,759,310 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund acquired a new position in Total in the 4th quarter valued at about $40,000. FMR LLC grew its stake in Total by 47.4% in the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,124,096 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock valued at $329,940,000 after buying an additional 1,648,239 shares during the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH acquired a new position in Total in the 3rd quarter valued at about $87,003,000. Finally, Boston Partners acquired a new position in Total in the 4th quarter valued at about $34,480,000. Institutional investors own 6.32% of the company’s stock.

Total Company Profile

TOTAL SA operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates through Exploration & Production; Gas, Renewables & Power; Refining & Chemicals; and Marketing & Services segments. The Exploration & Production segment engages in the exploration and production activities in approximately 50 countries, and produces oil or gas in approximately 30 countries.

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