Blueknight Energy Partners (BKEP) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Blueknight Energy Partners (NASDAQ:BKEP) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The firm currently has $2.50 price objective on the pipeline company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Blueknight Energy Partners, L.P., based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, owns and operates a diversified portfolio of complementary midstream energy assets. It provides midstream services to its customers by focusing in three operational areas: crude oil terminalling and storage, crude oil gathering and transportation services and asphalt terminalling, storage and processing services. The Company’s strategically located storage facilities, terminals and pipelines provide customers the flexibility to access multiple receipt and delivery points. Its vision is to use its strategically located assets to be a leading provider of midstream services in the energy industry. It intends to accomplish its objective by: pursuing both strategic and accretive acquisitions within the midstream energy industry, pursuing organic expansion opportunities by constructing additional assets in strategic locations, and expanding storage capacity, particularly at its Cushing terminal, and increasing the profitability of its existing assets. “

A number of other research analysts have also commented on BKEP. SunTrust Banks set a $4.00 target price on Blueknight Energy Partners and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. Stephens set a $4.00 target price on Blueknight Energy Partners and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 7th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $3.70.

Shares of NASDAQ BKEP traded down $0.03 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $2.06. The stock had a trading volume of 2,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 169,347. The firm has a market capitalization of $74.82 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of -22.89 and a beta of 0.40. Blueknight Energy Partners has a twelve month low of $1.95 and a twelve month high of $5.75.

Blueknight Energy Partners (NASDAQ:BKEP) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The pipeline company reported ($0.09) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.02 by ($0.11). The firm had revenue of $133.16 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $52.92 million. Blueknight Energy Partners had a net margin of 0.83% and a negative return on equity of 1.90%. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Blueknight Energy Partners will post 0.35 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.08 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 1st. This represents a $0.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 15.53%. Blueknight Energy Partners’s dividend payout ratio is currently -355.56%.

In related news, CEO Mark A. Hurley acquired 20,394 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 14th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $2.45 per share, for a total transaction of $49,965.30. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 453,066 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,110,011.70. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its stake in Blueknight Energy Partners by 4.9% during the second quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 2,171,111 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $7,382,000 after acquiring an additional 102,257 shares in the last quarter. Prescott Group Capital Management L.L.C. raised its stake in Blueknight Energy Partners by 33.5% during the second quarter. Prescott Group Capital Management L.L.C. now owns 1,028,150 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $3,496,000 after acquiring an additional 257,963 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Zazove Associates LLC acquired a new position in Blueknight Energy Partners during the second quarter worth $1,145,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 46.80% of the company’s stock.

About Blueknight Energy Partners

Blueknight Energy Partners, L.P. provides integrated terminalling, gathering, and transportation services for companies engaged in the production, distribution, and marketing of liquid asphalt and crude oil products in the United States. The company's Asphalt Terminalling Services segment offers asphalt terminalling services, including storage, blending, processing, and throughput services for asphalt product and residual fuel oil.

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