Movers In The News: W&T Offshore (WTI), Gastar Exploration (GST), Fairway Group Holdings (FWM)

W&T Offshore, Inc. (NYSE:WTI) was elevated to a “buy” rating from “accumulate” at KLR Group. The firm also set a price target of $18 on the stock. Increase in production is expected to help the company to boost its performance and provide lift to its stock price. Analysts at Barclays have also recently commented on the prospects of WTI, they restated “equal-weight” rating on the stock and set $12 target price on it. WTI is an $818 million oil and gas producer. It earned $0.24 per share in the most recent quarter, better than the estimate of $0.10.

Gastar Exploration Inc (NYSEMKT:GST) has not been an interesting stock this year and even this year as it is all in the red in the periods. There are a few reasons to explain the investor concern in the stock, at least in the recent past. First and foremost, GST recently announced dilution of its common stock through the offering of 17 million shares while allowing the underwriters to purchase additional 2.55 million shares. The company priced the shares at $6.25 a piece, and the offering was intended to raise funds to pay down some of its debt and also to fund other projects. GST expected about $101.2 million in net proceeds from the offering, or $116.4 million if the underwriters exercised their options. However, stock dilution, regardless of the trigger, is never in the best interest of the existing shareholders as it erodes their value. That may explain the weakness in the stock of Gastar Exploration Inc (NYSEMKT:GST). Nonetheless, analysts believe that all is not lost for the company as they give it a consensus “buy” rating and average target price of $9.91.

Fairway Group Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:FWM) this week found itself in an unpopular position as details about its Board payments emerged, much to the dismay of the shareholders. The company reportedly paid $12.1 million in 2013 to its directors. That made the Board of FWM the No. 4 highest paid Board in the whole of Russell 3000 Index. A payment of $12.1 million to the directors doesn’t seem much until you realize that the amount is equal to what the combined Boards of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) earned in the year. By contrast, the aforementioned companies boast an aggregate market value of $1.2 trillion, far bigger than that of FWM, which is about $146 million.

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Stinson is US Markets Daily’s Senior Producer for News & Public Affairs.

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