ConocoPhillips (COP) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report released on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $61.00 price objective on the energy producer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 12.07% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “ConocoPhillips is one of the largest exploration and production players in the world, based on proved reserves and production. We appreciate the company’s initiative to divest non-core assets as the explorer could divert the proceeds toward oil-rich Eagle Ford shale and Permian Basin. It is to be noted that during 2017, ConocoPhillips generated $16 billion from the asset sale program. Significant undrilled locations in the Eagle Ford shale will boost the company’s production. ConocoPhillips got an approval from the board of directors to hike the quarterly dividend to 28.5 cents per share from 26.5 cents, representing an increase of 7.5%. The company also enhanced its share buyback program. With this, ConocoPhillips will increase share repurchases during 2018 to $2 billion from the prior projection of $1.5 billion. Also, the company’s earnings surprise history is impressive.”

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on COP. Royal Bank of Canada increased their price target on ConocoPhillips from $58.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on ConocoPhillips from $48.00 to $65.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Cowen set a $70.00 price target on ConocoPhillips and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 18th. Credit Suisse Group started coverage on ConocoPhillips in a research note on Monday, December 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $50.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Howard Weil downgraded ConocoPhillips from a “focus list” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. ConocoPhillips presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $58.76.

ConocoPhillips (COP) traded up $1.11 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $54.43. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,126,063 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,045,625. ConocoPhillips has a 12-month low of $42.26 and a 12-month high of $61.31. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 2.23 and a current ratio of 2.38. The firm has a market cap of $64,930.00, a P/E ratio of -83.52, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.74 and a beta of 1.32.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The energy producer reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.45. ConocoPhillips had a positive return on equity of 2.78% and a negative net margin of 2.04%. The firm had revenue of $8.74 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.70 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned ($0.26) EPS. analysts forecast that ConocoPhillips will post 2.79 EPS for the current fiscal year.

ConocoPhillips declared that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Wednesday, November 8th that permits the company to buyback $1.50 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the energy producer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Charles E. Bunch bought 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, December 11th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $52.06 per share, for a total transaction of $104,120.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 3,429 shares in the company, valued at $178,513.74. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. 0.82% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Financial Management Professionals Inc. raised its position in shares of ConocoPhillips by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. Financial Management Professionals Inc. now owns 2,288 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 6 shares in the last quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC grew its position in ConocoPhillips by 0.4% during the first quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC now owns 2,167 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 8 shares during the period. MCF Advisors LLC grew its position in ConocoPhillips by 0.3% during the first quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 3,865 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $156,000 after buying an additional 12 shares during the period. Canal Capital Management LLC grew its position in ConocoPhillips by 0.3% during the second quarter. Canal Capital Management LLC now owns 6,342 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $279,000 after buying an additional 22 shares during the period. Finally, Wendell David Associates Inc. grew its position in ConocoPhillips by 0.3% during the second quarter. Wendell David Associates Inc. now owns 7,561 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $332,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.93% of the company’s stock.

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ConocoPhillips Company Profile

ConocoPhillips is an independent exploration and production company. The Company explores for, produces, transports and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas liquids. The Company operates through five segments: Alaska, Lower 48, Canada, Europe and North Africa, Asia Pacific and Middle East, and Other International.

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