NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Whiting Petroleum Corp (WLL) are climbing, up 1.25% to $38.15 in early market trading Monday, after analysts at Morgan Stanley raised their rating on the oil and gas company to "overweight" from "equal weight" this morning.
The firm issued a price target of $48 on shares, following a rebound in growth and a reduction in leverage due to divestitures.
Morgan Stanley believes that the current negative sentiment has led to a discounted valuation, making it an attractive entry point for investors.
Denver, CO-based Whiting Petroleum is an independent oil and gas company engaged in exploration, development, acquisition and production activities in the Rocky Mountains and Permian Basin regions.
Whiting is one of the largest producers in the Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota.
Insight from TheStreet's Research Team:
Whiting Petroleum is a core holding of David Peltier's Stocks Under $10 Portfolio. During the most recent weekly roundup, this is what Dave had to say about the stock:
Whiting Petroleum (WLL; $37.68; 123 shares; 2.50%; Inflection Point; $51 price target): The company explores for oil and gas in the Permian Basin, Williston Basin and Green River Basin. The shares added nearly 6% to recent gains this week, as management posted solid quarterly results on Wednesday. We'd consider paring back our position above $40, as Whiting has rallied significantly from its recent lows.
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates WHITING PETROLEUM CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate WHITING PETROLEUM CORP (WLL) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed, some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: WLL Ratings Report