The firm also maintained its "overweight" rating on shares of the Denver-based oil and natural gas company.
The higher price target comes after KeyBanc traveled with the company's management and met with investors.
"We continue to view SM as a less expensive way of gaining quality Permian (Basin) exposure. Additionally, SM is in the early innings of a transformation toward a company with a higher quality asset base, a much improved balance sheet, significantly greater margins and a return to growth in oil volumes," the firm wrote in an analyst note.
SM Energy expects to continue "coring up" its acreage position and is actively seeking additional acquisition opportunities, KeyBanc noted. The firm also expects the company to remain active with Permian acquisitions in the Midland Basin.
Shares of SM Energy closed flat today.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Sell" rating with a score of D on the stock.
The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in its earnings per share.
Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: SM