UBS analysts upgraded YPF (NYSE:YPF) to Buy rating from Neutral and increased their price target to $27 from $18. As a consequence, the company’s shares surged more than 8% intra-day on Thursday.

The analysts’ optimism is based on signs that oil and gas operators like YPF might soon have the freedom to manage their operations more effectively. This freedom could lead to benefits such as better pricing policies for oil and fuels, reduced capital expenditures and operating costs, and a potential revaluation of the company’s stock. These benefits are in addition to the expected increase in oil and natural gas production.

The analyst noted the “4×4” plan announced by the newly elected government and YPF’s management, which aims to quadruple the company’s value in the next four years. While acknowledging the challenging macroeconomic environment in Argentina, the analysts suggest that YPF could follow in the footsteps of Petrobras, which saw significant improvements between 2017 and 2022. Such improvements in efficiency, capital allocation, and reduced risk perception support the upgrade to a Buy rating.

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