By NGOZI Onyeakusi

Leading investment adviser in the domestic economy, Meristem Securities Ltd has upgraded recommendation on Forte Oil Plc to buy from hold.
Meristem Securities raised the target price to N77.41 from N64.09, implying a 68 percent increase from the last close. The target matches the consensus average of N77.41.
According report made available to Bloomberg, Meristem Securities had before now advised investors in the equities market to hold shares of Forte Oil.
Bloomberg said that investors who followed Meristem Securitas’s recommendation would have received a 58 percent return in the past year before today, compared with the negative 78 percent return on the shares.
In the past three years and four months, Meristem Securities has rated Forte Oil hold once, buy once and sell once. The shares fell 23 percent in the period rated hold, fell 11 percent in the period rated buy and rose 146 percent in the period rated sell.
Analysts raised their consensus one-year target price for the stock by 4.8 percent in the past three months. Forecasts range from N61.44 to N202.87.
Meristem Securities covers 21 companies; 10 are rated under review, 6 are rated hold, 3 are rated buy and 2 are rated sell.
Foremost ratings and research agencies, Agusto & Co. and Global Credit Rating Co. (GCR), had recently affirmed Forte Oil Plc investment grade rating.
Both agencies stated that the long term outlook for the oil and gas company remained stable.
The credit ratings were accorded to Forte Oil Plc based on the company’s top-tier position in the Nigerian downstream sector, underpinned by a strong and visible brand, significant assets across the energy value chain, and strong relationships with suppliers, strong corporate governance framework, and an experienced and stable management team.