PetroChina Ltd. (NYSE:PTR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Being one of the two Chinese integrated oil firms, PetroChina is well-positioned to capitalize on the country’s favorable trends. In particular, we like PTR’s robust portfolio of assetsand strong balance sheet, which make it better suited to handle volatile market conditions than most of its peers. On top of that, its natural gas business offers lucrative growth prospects in the coming years as China moves from coal to natural gas. But there's no ignoring that the crude price slump has adversely affected the group’s earnings and cash flows, particularly at its upstream unit. Such has been the impact that PTR's E&P segment swung to a loss during the first 9 months of 2016. Adding to the woes is China’s decision to cut natural gas prices for industrial users that reduced margins in PTR’s gas-wholesale business. Considering these factors, we see limited upside from current levels.”

Separately, Macquarie downgraded shares of PetroChina from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, October 21st. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. PetroChina currently has an average rating of “Hold”.

Analyst Recommendations for PetroChina (NYSE:PTR)

PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) traded up 1.57% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $69.10. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 61,558 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $68.99 and its 200 day moving average price is $68.13. The firm has a market capitalization of $82.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 138.20 and a beta of 1.28. PetroChina has a 52 week low of $52.30 and a 52 week high of $76.06.

The business also recently announced a semiannual dividend, which was paid on Monday, November 7th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 13th were issued a $0.3213 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, September 9th. This represents a yield of 0.95%. PetroChina’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 120.41%.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of PTR. Bank of New York Mellon Corp bought a new stake in PetroChina during the second quarter valued at $273,000. UBS Group AG increased its stake in PetroChina by 50.7% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 16,691 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,106,000 after buying an additional 5,612 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in PetroChina by 41.9% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 71,836 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,879,000 after buying an additional 21,196 shares during the period. Brandes Investment Partners LP increased its stake in PetroChina by 1.1% in the second quarter. Brandes Investment Partners LP now owns 38,902 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,642,000 after buying an additional 431 shares during the period. Finally, Capital Fund Management S.A. increased its stake in PetroChina by 453.0% in the second quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. now owns 17,330 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,177,000 after buying an additional 14,196 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 0.22% of the company’s stock.

About PetroChina

PetroChina Company Limited is an oil and gas producer and distributor. The Company’s segments are Exploration and Production, Refining and Chemicals, Marketing, and Natural Gas and Pipeline. The Company’s Exploration and Production segment is engaged in the exploration, development, production and marketing of crude oil and natural gas.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:PTR

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