ConocoPhillips (COP) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Sell

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Being a firm in the exploration and production industry, ConocoPhillips’ profitability has expectedly been hit by this weakly priced oil and gas market. As a result, the company’s revenue has been decreasing at a CAGR of 33.8% over the last three years. We are concerned about the company’s escalating debt levels. It is to be noted that at the end of first-quarter 2017, ConocoPhillips had only $3.1 billion in cash and cash equivalents, while its debt had climbed to $26.4 billion. Moreover, the company’s cash flow is expected to remain tight even after the capital-expenditure reductions. Hence, we do not see any improvement in the company’s upstream operations unless there’s a recovery in commodity prices.”

Several other equities analysts have also commented on COP. UBS AG raised shares of ConocoPhillips from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $51.00 to $55.00 in a report on Thursday, March 30th. Wolfe Research cut shares of ConocoPhillips from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday. Instinet reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $54.00 price target on shares of ConocoPhillips in a research report on Monday, April 3rd. Scotiabank set a $54.00 price target on shares of ConocoPhillips and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 1st. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of ConocoPhillips from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 14th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. ConocoPhillips presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $55.77.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE COP) traded down 0.28% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $43.33. 2,528,723 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock’s market cap is $53.60 billion. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $45.46 and its 200-day moving average price is $47.90. ConocoPhillips has a 12 month low of $38.80 and a 12 month high of $53.17.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The energy producer reported ($0.02) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.03 by $0.05. ConocoPhillips had a negative net margin of 5.05% and a negative return on equity of 5.92%. The business had revenue of $7.77 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.47 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted ($0.95) EPS. Equities analysts expect that ConocoPhillips will post $0.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.

ConocoPhillips announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, March 29th that authorizes the company to repurchase $3.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the energy producer to repurchase up to 5.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other news, VP James D. Mcmorran sold 9,091 shares of ConocoPhillips stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.47, for a total value of $431,549.77. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders own 0.82% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in COP. Banco Santander S.A. bought a new stake in shares of ConocoPhillips during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,408,000. Ellington Management Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of ConocoPhillips during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,399,000. Ancora Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of ConocoPhillips by 192.9% in the fourth quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC now owns 41,893 shares of the energy producer’s stock worth $2,100,000 after buying an additional 27,588 shares in the last quarter. Seven Eight Capital LP bought a new stake in shares of ConocoPhillips during the fourth quarter worth approximately $933,000. Finally, Tudor Investment Corp Et Al raised its stake in shares of ConocoPhillips by 12.4% in the fourth quarter. Tudor Investment Corp Et Al now owns 25,371 shares of the energy producer’s stock worth $1,272,000 after buying an additional 2,800 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 67.60% 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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Analyst Recommendations for ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP)

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