PetroChina Company Limited (NYSE:PTR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “The ongoing oil price weakness and steep cuts in domestic gas supplies to industrial users have kept us bearish on PetroChina. Predictably, the crude price slump has adversely affected the group’s earnings and cash flows, particularly at its upstream unit. Adding to the woes is China’s decision to cut natural gas prices for industrial users that reduced margins in PTR’s gas-wholesale business. Furthermore, China's weakened industrial activity has dampened demand for PTR's products like diesel. Finally, we are concerned about prospects for the company’s oil production growth, considering its heavy exposure to significantly mature-producing areas. A limited international operation and an ambitious investment program gives investors more reason to steer clear of the stock. All these factors are also reflected in the stock price of PTR which has declined about 12% year to date.”

PTR has been the subject of several other reports. BidaskClub cut PetroChina Company Limited from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Friday, August 18th. Morgan Stanley raised PetroChina Company Limited from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Credit Suisse Group raised PetroChina Company Limited from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Macquarie raised PetroChina Company Limited from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein cut PetroChina Company Limited from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, July 6th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. PetroChina Company Limited presently has a consensus rating of “Hold”.

PetroChina Company Limited (PTR) traded down 0.98% on Tuesday, hitting $64.49. The stock had a trading volume of 45,681 shares. PetroChina Company Limited has a 12 month low of $60.69 and a 12 month high of $81.80. The company has a market cap of $118.03 billion, a PE ratio of 40.31 and a beta of 1.17. The company has a 50-day moving average of $64.01 and a 200 day moving average of $65.61.

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A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership purchased a new position in PetroChina Company Limited in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $8,506,000. OxFORD Asset Management LLP increased its stake in PetroChina Company Limited by 13.1% in the 2nd quarter. OxFORD Asset Management LLP now owns 41,117 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $2,520,000 after purchasing an additional 4,752 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in PetroChina Company Limited by 5.6% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 444,854 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $27,265,000 after purchasing an additional 23,637 shares in the last quarter. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC purchased a new position in PetroChina Company Limited in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $418,000. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in PetroChina Company Limited by 18.7% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 396,700 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $24,310,000 after purchasing an additional 62,600 shares in the last quarter. 0.19% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About PetroChina Company Limited

PetroChina Company Limited is a China-based company principally engaged in the production and distribution of oil and gas. The Company mainly operates through four business segments. The Exploration and Production segment is principally engaged in the exploration, development, production and sales of crude oil and natural gas.

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