NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Noble Energy (NBL)  was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Sterne Agee on Wednesday morning. The firm also established a $47 price target on the stock.

The Houston-based energy company is engaged in crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids exploration and production.

"We have long viewed Noble as a great company. We now view NBL shares as a compelling investment, given overblown geopolitical headwinds, operational momentum and attractive valuation amid year-to-date underperformance," Sterne Agee wrote in a note to investors.

Noise around Israeli political "machinations" and the anti-hydrocarbon "crusade" in Colorado is overblown, the firm added.

"Investors should focus on improving drilling economics in the DJ Basin: about $5.3 million extended lateral wells with EURs trending to/above 720 mboe, with more efficiencies to come," Sterne Agee said.

Shares of Noble Energy closed at $35.33 on Tuesday.

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, disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself 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: NBL