Traders Purchase Large Volume of Enerplus Put Options (ERF)

Enerplus Corp (NYSE:ERF) (TSE:ERF) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Traders acquired 548 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 651% compared to the average daily volume of 73 put options.

ERF has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Enerplus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 28th. AltaCorp Capital restated a “buy” rating and issued a $16.00 price objective on shares of Enerplus in a research report on Monday, January 15th. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a $16.00 price objective on shares of Enerplus in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, CIBC initiated coverage on shares of Enerplus in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a “sector outperform” rating on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Enerplus presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $14.40.

Enerplus (ERF) traded up $0.37 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $10.54. 983,460 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,395,857. Enerplus has a 12-month low of $6.52 and a 12-month high of $11.78. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,510.00, a PE ratio of 3.21 and a beta of 1.46. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 2.04 and a quick ratio of 2.04.

The company also recently disclosed a monthly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 31st will be given a $0.008 dividend. This represents a $0.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.91%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 30th. Enerplus’s payout ratio is 3.05%.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ERF. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC purchased a new position in shares of Enerplus during the third quarter valued at about $109,000. Lbmc Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Enerplus during the third quarter valued at about $148,000. Koch Industries Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Enerplus during the fourth quarter valued at about $149,000. Two Sigma Securities LLC purchased a new position in shares of Enerplus during the fourth quarter valued at about $155,000. Finally, First Republic Investment Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Enerplus during the fourth quarter valued at about $177,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 49.18% of the company’s stock.

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Enerplus Company Profile

Enerplus Corporation is an oil and natural gas company. The Company’s oil and natural gas property interests are located in the United States, primarily in North Dakota, Montana, and Pennsylvania, as well as in western Canada in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The Company’s oil and natural gas property interests contains proved plus probable gross reserves of approximately 14.3 million barrels (MMbbls) of light and medium crude oil, 39.0 MMbbls of heavy crude oil, 123 MMbbls of tight oil, 18.1 MMbbls of natural gas liquids (NGLs), 126.3 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of conventional natural gas and 1,002.8 Bcf of shale gas, for a total of approximately 382.5 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE).

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