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Woodside Petroleum Limited shares up but Morgans price target down

Shares in oil and gas company Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) are up 0.6% to $31.27 at the time of writing as Morgans placed a hold rating on the stock.

Woodside reported a rise in first-quarter sales revenue off the back of a jump in LNG output with forecasts production will increase to between 85 million and 90 million barrels of oil equivalent, but the results were softer than Morgans had originally hoped for.

The Morgans broker rates Woodside’s earnings profile highly but took issue with some recent decisions by the company, reducing the price target on the stock from $30.99 to $30.69.

Woodside is in talks with customers from Japan and China for LNG from its newly-acquired Scarborough project, with growth plans for the project to be detailed at the investor day in May.

Oil and gas peers Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) shares are down to $81.12 today, with brother BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) also down 0.4% to $30.78.

Shares in Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) are down 1.2% to $1.48 despite sitting on the S&P/ASX200 gains list for most of yesterday, alongside nickel producers Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO) and Western Areas Ltd (ASX: WSA), which are also both down today.

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