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Analysts downgraded significantly more energy companies than they upgraded during the last 30 days. There were 53 downgrades of energy companies by sell-side and independent analysts tracked by Alacra Pulse, compared with 36 upgrades.

Some of the More Notable Changes:

  • Wells Fargo today downgraded Oceaneering International (NYSE:OII) to Market Perform, but Credit Suisse earlier in the week upgraded the offshore services company to Outperform and boosted its price target from $65 to $93. In November, Global Hunter Securities also downgraded Oceaneering to Neutral:

We are downgrading OII to Neutral from Accumulate as it has quickly approached our $72 price target established in our initiation.

  • Brigham Exploration (BEXP) was downgraded to neutral by MKM Partners and to Outperform (from Strong Buy) at Raymond James Financial. BMO Capital Markets upgraded the driller to Market Perform with a target of $26. Jefferies kept its Buy rating but raised its target to $32 from $20.
  • Dynegy (NYSE:DYN) was downgraded to Underperform with a $4.50 target by Macquarie after the failure of a Blackstone Group-backed takeover bid. But Pritchard Capital Partners upgraded the electric power company to Buy and raised its target to $7 from $5, while Barclays Capital raised its price target to $6 based on expected additional cost savings.
  • Macquarie boosted Tesoro (NYSE:TSO) to Outperform and raised its target to $20 from $15, after having downgraded the petroleum company in October. Morgan Stanley upped its rating to Overweight and its target to $21 from $15.
  • Raymond James Financial upgraded CONSOL Energy (NYSE:CNX) to Strong Buy. But UBS today cut its earning estimates for the power company, based on lower natural gas prices. UBS has a Buy rating and a $60 target.
  • Benchmark downgraded Hess (NYSE:HES) to Sell with a $57 target. But Oppenheimer raised its price target to $84 from $70 on higher oil prices & exploration potential, and Bank of America raised its target to $85 from $80.
  • Patriot Coal (PCX) was downgraded to Sell by Citigroup and to Underperform by BMO Capital Markets. Standard & Poor’s put the coal company on ratings watch for possible credit rating downgrade, based on lower coal prices.

Other energy companies downgraded to a negative rating included: China Petroleum and Chemicals (NYSE:SNP), SeaDrill (NYSE:SDRL), Desire Petroleum (NYSEARCA:DES), Syncrude Canada, Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK), Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ:PTEN), and Apache (NYSE:APA).

Disclosure: No positions

Source: Upgrade / Downgrade Pulse: Energy Companies