ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, December 19th.
According to Zacks, “ConocoPhillips is one of the largest exploration and production players in the world, based on proved reserves and production. During the second quarter, the company reported strong results following higher realized prices from commodities sold and production ramp up from numerous key developments. We appreciate the company’s initiative to divest assets worth $16 billion in 2017 and divert the proceeds toward oil rich Eagle Ford shale and Permian Basin. ConocoPhillips owns significant undrilled locations in the Eagle Ford shale that could lend access to huge oil reserves. Also, the company’s net cash flow from operations have been rising steadily since the beginning of 2017. However, we are concerned about the company’s escalating debt levels. It is to be noted that at the end of third-quarter 2017, ConocoPhillips had only $6.9 billion in cash and cash equivalents, while its debt climbed to $21 billion.”
A number of other research firms have also weighed in on COP. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price objective on shares of ConocoPhillips from $58.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $53.00 price objective on shares of ConocoPhillips in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on shares of ConocoPhillips in a research note on Monday, December 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $50.00 price objective for the company. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of ConocoPhillips from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. Finally, Barclays lifted their price objective on shares of ConocoPhillips from $55.00 to $59.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $55.47.
ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The energy producer reported $0.16 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.08 by $0.08. ConocoPhillips had a negative net margin of 7.32% and a positive return on equity of 0.12%. The company had revenue of $7.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.55 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.66) EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that ConocoPhillips will post 0.57 EPS for the current year.
In other news, Director Charles E. Bunch purchased 2,000 shares of ConocoPhillips stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 11th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $52.06 per share, for a total transaction of $104,120.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,429 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $178,513.74. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 0.82% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in ConocoPhillips by 1.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 90,547,596 shares of the energy producer’s stock worth $3,980,473,000 after acquiring an additional 1,694,618 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in ConocoPhillips by 7.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 85,821,694 shares of the energy producer’s stock worth $3,772,723,000 after acquiring an additional 6,197,896 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its position in ConocoPhillips by 6.9% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 61,497,903 shares of the energy producer’s stock worth $3,066,900,000 after acquiring an additional 3,982,002 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in ConocoPhillips by 2.6% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 15,774,835 shares of the energy producer’s stock worth $693,462,000 after acquiring an additional 397,339 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wellington Management Group LLP grew its position in ConocoPhillips by 255.3% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 12,803,885 shares of the energy producer’s stock worth $638,530,000 after acquiring an additional 9,200,014 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.63% of the company’s stock.
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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