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MarketWatch MarketPulseFeb 24, 2021
Occidental Petroleum's stock soars to lead S&P 500 gainers, as crude oil prices rally toward a 13-month high
Shares of Occidental Petroleum Corp. shot up 9.1% in afternoon trading Wednesday, fueled by a surge in crude oil prices to 13-month highs and continued praise from Wall Street analysts regarding the oil and gas company's plans to reduce debt. The stock, which was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 , is on track to close at its highest price since March 5. The company had reported after Monday's closing bell a wider-than-expected loss and a revenue miss for the third-straight quarter, but said it remained focused on strengthening its balance sheet by using asset sales to reduce debt and to extend current debt maturities. Analyst Neal Dingmann at Truist reiterated his hold rating but raised his stock price target to $28 from $24, saying the company continues to "best manage its material debt," which positions it for an eventual return to dividend growth. Meanwhile, continuous crude oil futures rallied 2.4% toward the highest settlement since Jan. 6, 2020. Over the past three months, Occidental's stock has soared 69.4%, while crude futures have run up 40.6% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.0%.

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