Top investors say Valero Energy Corporation (VLO) ticks everything they need

Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO) stock jumped 1.36% on Tuesday to $145.03 against a previous-day closing price of $143.08. With 3.15 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained lighter than its average volume of 3.9 million shares. During the session, the Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing company that operates in wider Energy sector, reached to the highest price of $160.16 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $141.85. The 52-week range on VLO shows that it touched its highest point at $146.91 and its lowest point at $75.04 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $153.60. With its current market cap of 54.24 billion, VLO has annualized dividend of $3.92 while the current yield stands at 2.70%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 1.64.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of VLO was up-trending over the past week, with a rise of 5.39%, but this was up by 18.22% over a month. Three-month performance surged to 13.54% while six-month performance rose 32.67%. The stock gained 82.91% in the past year, while it has gained 14.32% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for VLO yields 23.45 with Next year EPS estimates of 19.45. For the next quarter, that number is 7.39. This implies an EPS growth rate of 164.80% for this year and -29.69% for next year.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 390.00 million VLO shares are outstanding with a float of 383.53 million shares on hand for trading. On Oct 13, 2022, short shares totaled 9.83 million, which was 2.50% higher than short shares on Sep 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Joseph W. Gorder as the firm’s Chairman & CEO, Mr. R. Lane Riggs serves as its Pres & COO.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 81.74% of VLO’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 47.27% of VLO, in contrast to 34.79% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 1.57%. As the largest shareholder in VLO with 10.36% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 39,934,414 shares worth 39,934,414. A second-largest stockholder of VLO, SSgA Funds Management, Inc., holds 28,607,421 shares, controlling over 7.42% of the firm’s shares. BlackRock Fund Advisors is the third largest shareholder in VLO, holding 22,638,477 shares or 5.87% stake. With a 3.04% stake in VLO, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index is the largest stakeholder. A total of 11,725,291 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The SPDR Series – Energy Select Secto, which owns about 2.87% of VLO stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 11,044,290 shares valued at 1.4 billion. Vanguard 500 Index Fund holds 2.31% of the stake in VLO, owning 8,911,495 shares worth 1.13 billion.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for VLO since 21 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 15 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 1 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 3 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 2 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With VLO analysts setting a high price target of $172.00 and a low target of $126.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $151.18. Based on these targets, VLO could surge 18.6% to reach the target high and fall by -13.12% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 4.24% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. VLO will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/01/2024. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $31.05 being high and $25.96 being low. For VLO, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $28.20. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Valero Energy Corporation surprised analysts by $0.34 when it reported $7.14 EPS against a consensus estimate of $6.80. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $2.10. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $10.16 and the low estimate is $7.15. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $7.53.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded VLO stock several times over the past three months with 2 Buys and 7 Sells. In these transactions, 39,317 shares were bought while 58,615 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 19 while that of sell transactions has risen to 28 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 219,607 while 154,743 shares were sold.

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