Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday. They currently have $61.00 price target on the energy producer’s stock.
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.”
Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on COP. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of ConocoPhillips from $45.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a buy rating and issued a $52.00 price objective on shares of ConocoPhillips in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their price objective on shares of ConocoPhillips from $57.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Barclays boosted their price objective on shares of ConocoPhillips from $55.00 to $59.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $58.00 price objective on shares of ConocoPhillips and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. ConocoPhillips has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $58.76.
ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The energy producer reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.45. ConocoPhillips had a negative net margin of 2.04% and a positive return on equity of 2.78%. The company had revenue of $8.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.70 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted ($0.26) earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that ConocoPhillips will post 2.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, February 12th will be given a dividend of $0.285 per share. This is a boost from ConocoPhillips’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.27. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 9th. This represents a $1.14 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.04%. ConocoPhillips’s payout ratio is presently -81.43%.
ConocoPhillips announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, November 8th that allows the company to buyback $1.50 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the energy producer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In other ConocoPhillips news, Director Charles E. Bunch bought 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 11th. The stock was bought at an average price of $52.06 per share, for a total transaction of $104,120.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 3,429 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $178,513.74. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.82% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Beach Investment Management LLC. acquired a new position in shares of ConocoPhillips in the 2nd quarter valued at $2,035,000. First Eagle Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of ConocoPhillips by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC now owns 10,298,915 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $452,740,000 after buying an additional 233,419 shares during the period. BB&T Securities LLC grew its holdings in shares of ConocoPhillips by 46.4% in the 2nd quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 216,382 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $9,512,000 after buying an additional 68,591 shares during the period. Everence Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of ConocoPhillips by 14.0% in the 2nd quarter. Everence Capital Management Inc. now owns 60,304 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $2,651,000 after buying an additional 7,420 shares during the period. Finally, Marshall Wace North America L.P. grew its holdings in shares of ConocoPhillips by 1,658.7% in the 2nd quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 71,474 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $3,145,000 after buying an additional 67,410 shares during the period. 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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