Barclays PLC upgraded shares of Encana Corp. (NYSE:ECA) from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has $14.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $10.00.

“core four” assets in the Permian, Eagle Ford, Montney and Duvernay.”Use of Encana’s 2018 capital spending and production indications lead us to infer a very strong return in 2018 on new spending of circa 30 percent on the corporate level (the 2017 inference is muddled by 2016 M&A),” analyst Thomas Driscoll wrote in a note.This inferred return is 18 percent better than the Barclays’ average return for peers. The analyst expects top-tier delivery from the “core four” basins and raised 2017 and 2018 liquids estimates by 6 percent and 20 percent, respectively.Related Link: Russia Wants To Freeze Oil Output … At Its Historical High LevelEncana’s preliminary 2017 budget of $1.4 billion–$1.8 billion is 7 percent above Barclays’ previous estimate. Encana expects to grow liquids volumes by 15–20 percent per year. Looking ForwardDriscoll forecast total volume growth to outpace expansion in market capital deployed by 12 percent through 2018, compared to 5 percent from peers. Assuming flat $55 crude and $3 gas, Encana expects to grow total production by 60 percent by 2021, as it doubles core four asset volumes and grows liquids by 15–20 percent CAGR. Further, Encana continues to reduce drilling and completion (D&C) costs in its core four assets and continues to reduce lease operating costs.Encana, which has ample liquidity and financial flexibility, expects to grow cash flow by 300 percent over the next five years, assuming flat $55 crude and $3 gas prices. “We are currently modeling through 2018 and are expecting 145 percent cash flow growth if we were to use the same commodity price assumptions,,” the firm’s analyst commented.

Several other brokerages also recently commented on ECA. Deutsche Bank AG raised their target price on Encana Corp. from $13.00 to $15.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, October 6th. Macquarie upgraded Encana Corp. from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Thursday, October 6th. Jefferies Group lifted their price target on Encana Corp. from $13.00 to $14.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, October 6th. GMP Securities upgraded Encana Corp. from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $13.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 6th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG started coverage on Encana Corp. in a research note on Thursday, October 6th. They set an outperform rating and a $14.00 price target for the company. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Encana Corp. has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $11.88.

Analyst Recommendations for Encana Corp. (NYSE:ECA)

Encana Corp. (NYSE:ECA) traded down 0.27% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $11.05. The stock had a trading volume of 5,792,231 shares. Encana Corp. has a 1-year low of $3.00 and a 1-year high of $11.31. The firm’s market capitalization is $9.39 billion. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $9.97 and a 200-day moving average price of $8.22.

Encana Corp. (NYSE:ECA) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.10 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.09) by $0.19. Encana Corp. had a positive return on equity of 0.79% and a negative net margin of 81.73%. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.20) earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Encana Corp. will post ($0.04) EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th were paid a $0.015 dividend. This represents a $0.06 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.54%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, September 13th. Encana Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is presently -1.79%.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of ECA. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Encana Corp. by 0.3% in the second quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 23,693 shares of the company’s stock valued at $185,000 after buying an additional 66 shares in the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale increased its stake in Encana Corp. by 0.8% in the second quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 152,963 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,221,000 after buying an additional 1,263 shares in the last quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. increased its stake in Encana Corp. by 2.1% in the second quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 65,450 shares of the company’s stock valued at $514,000 after buying an additional 1,354 shares in the last quarter. 10 15 Associates Inc. increased its stake in Encana Corp. by 6.0% in the second quarter. 10 15 Associates Inc. now owns 32,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $255,000 after buying an additional 1,850 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BB&T Securities LLC increased its stake in Encana Corp. by 12.2% in the second quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 19,927 shares of the company’s stock valued at $155,000 after buying an additional 2,173 shares in the last quarter. 57.44% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Encana Corp. Company Profile

Encana Corp is a Canada-based energy producer, which is engaged in the business of exploration, development, production and marketing of natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs). The Company’s operations also include the marketing of natural gas, oil and NGLs. All of its reserves and production are located in North America.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:ECA

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