Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE:SU) (TSE:SU) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Hold-rated Suncor Energy's shares have gained +9% over the last 12 months, handily outperforming the Zacks Oil & Gas – Canadian Integrated industry, which lost -12% over the same time period, as well as key rival Canadian Natural Resources. SU's last reported quarter saw production rising to a record on the back of its transactions to gain a majority stake in the massive Syncrude oil sands project. Importantly, SU's success in reducing cash costs have magnified the effects of rebound in oil prices. An attractive dividend yield and plans for share buyback are other positives in the Suncor story. However, the operational challenges and unplanned outages in its Syncrude project, may affect its cash flows adversely. As it is, extracting crude from the oil sands is a costly affair and as such, hampers profit margins. Therefore, we see limited upside for SU scrip”

A number of other equities analysts also recently issued reports on SU. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upgraded shares of Suncor Energy from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $25.00 to $34.00 in a report on Wednesday, April 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Scotiabank downgraded shares of Suncor Energy from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a report on Friday, June 9th. Simmons cut their price target on shares of Suncor Energy from $43.00 to $41.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Piper Jaffray Companies cut their price target on shares of Suncor Energy from $40.00 to $38.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Monday, July 3rd. Finally, Barclays PLC reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $52.00 price target (up previously from $47.00) on shares of Suncor Energy in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Suncor Energy currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $42.10.

Suncor Energy (NYSE SU) traded up 1.94% on Wednesday, reaching $30.49. 1,356,641 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company has a market capitalization of $50.90 billion, a P/E ratio of 41.71 and a beta of 0.80. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $29.76 and a 200-day moving average price of $30.96. Suncor Energy has a 1-year low of $25.70 and a 1-year high of $33.79.

Suncor Energy declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, April 26th that allows the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the oil and gas producer to purchase up to 3.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Seven Eight Capital LP acquired a new position in shares of Suncor Energy during the fourth quarter worth $105,000. CENTRAL TRUST Co boosted its position in shares of Suncor Energy by 90.8% in the first quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 3,641 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $112,000 after buying an additional 1,733 shares during the period. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC boosted its position in shares of Suncor Energy by 1.0% in the first quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 4,061 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $128,000 after buying an additional 42 shares during the period. Howe & Rusling Inc. boosted its position in shares of Suncor Energy by 19.3% in the first quarter. Howe & Rusling Inc. now owns 4,143 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 670 shares during the period. Finally, Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. boosted its position in shares of Suncor Energy by 6.0% in the first quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 4,224 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $130,000 after buying an additional 238 shares during the period. 65.22% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Suncor Energy Company Profile

Suncor Energy Inc (Suncor) is an integrated energy company. The Company is focused on developing Canada’s petroleum resource basin, Athabasca oil sands. The Company operates in three business segments: Oil Sands, Exploration and Production (E&P), and Refining and Marketing. The Company’s Oil Sands segment includes Oil Sands operations and Oil Sands ventures operations.

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