Ecopetrol Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (EC)

Ecopetrol SA (NYSE:EC) saw unusually large options trading on Thursday. Stock investors bought 1,124 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 2,062% compared to the typical volume of 52 call options.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in EC. Northern Trust Corp increased its position in shares of Ecopetrol by 12.0% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 222,563 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $2,023,000 after purchasing an additional 23,875 shares during the period. Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its position in shares of Ecopetrol by 303.2% during the third quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 353,973 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $3,359,000 after purchasing an additional 266,173 shares during the period. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Ecopetrol during the third quarter valued at approximately $330,000. Stevens Capital Management LP bought a new stake in shares of Ecopetrol during the third quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Ecopetrol during the third quarter valued at approximately $147,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 2.60% of the company’s stock.

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Shares of EC stock opened at $19.06 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $39,842.09, a P/E ratio of 43.32, a PEG ratio of 0.29 and a beta of 1.35. The company has a current ratio of 1.38, a quick ratio of 1.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77. Ecopetrol has a 1 year low of $8.60 and a 1 year high of $20.55.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on the company. UBS lowered Ecopetrol from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, January 11th. Santander lowered Ecopetrol from a “hold” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Friday, March 9th. Raymond James Financial reiterated an “underperform” rating on shares of Ecopetrol in a report on Tuesday, November 28th. Citigroup cut Ecopetrol from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, February 5th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Ecopetrol from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 26th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ecopetrol has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $13.00.

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About Ecopetrol

Ecopetrol SA is an oil company. The Company operates in Colombia, Peru, Brazil and the United States Gulf Coast. The Company’s segments include Exploration and Production, Transportation and Logistics, and Refining, Petrochemicals and Biofuels. The Company’s Exploration and Production segment includes exploration, development and production activities in Colombia and abroad.

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