Sentry Investment Management LLC lowered its position in Valero Energy Co. (NYSE:VLO) by 19.2% in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 28,738 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock after selling 6,826 shares during the quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Valero Energy were worth $2,641,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of VLO. Stifel Financial Corp raised its stake in shares of Valero Energy by 4,916.0% in the third quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 1,378,101 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $106,014,000 after acquiring an additional 1,350,627 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in shares of Valero Energy by 17.4% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 3,200,849 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $294,188,000 after acquiring an additional 475,381 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of Valero Energy by 4.3% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 11,273,542 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $867,273,000 after acquiring an additional 469,406 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its stake in shares of Valero Energy by 14.5% in the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 3,251,977 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $250,174,000 after acquiring an additional 411,630 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. bought a new position in shares of Valero Energy in the third quarter valued at approximately $26,518,000. Institutional investors own 81.03% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Macquarie reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Valero Energy in a research note on Monday, October 23rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Jefferies Group cut shares of Valero Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Cowen restated a “buy” rating and issued a $90.00 price objective on shares of Valero Energy in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating and issued a $98.00 price objective on shares of Valero Energy in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Valero Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $87.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $89.06.

In other Valero Energy news, Director Stephen M. Waters sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.23, for a total transaction of $87,230.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Michael S. Ciskowski sold 45,657 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.91, for a total transaction of $4,059,363.87. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 57,589 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,120,237.99. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 298,187 shares of company stock valued at $27,611,828 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.45% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Valero Energy Co. (VLO) opened at $88.84 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $38,603.39, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.10 and a beta of 0.99. Valero Energy Co. has a 1 year low of $60.69 and a 1 year high of $99.95. The company has a current ratio of 1.91, a quick ratio of 1.24 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39.

Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The oil and gas company reported $1.16 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $26.39 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $23.02 billion. Valero Energy had a net margin of 4.33% and a return on equity of 10.55%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 27.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.81 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Valero Energy Co. will post 7.23 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 6th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 13th will be given a dividend of $0.80 per share. This is a boost from Valero Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 12th. This represents a $3.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.60%. Valero Energy’s payout ratio is presently 30.30%.

Valero Energy announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, January 23rd that allows the company to buyback $2.50 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the oil and gas company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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Valero Energy Profile

Valero Energy Corporation (Valero) is an independent petroleum refiner and ethanol producer. The Company’s segments include refining, ethanol and Valero Energy Partners LP (VLP). The refining segment includes its refining operations and the associated marketing activities. The ethanol segment includes its ethanol operations and the associated marketing activities, and logistics assets that support its ethanol operations.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO)

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