Enerplus Corp (NYSE:ERF) (TSE:ERF) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Stock investors purchased 733 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 762% compared to the average daily volume of 85 put options.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ERF. Renaissance Technologies LLC purchased a new position in Enerplus during the 1st quarter worth $532,000. US Bancorp DE raised its position in Enerplus by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 38,170 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock worth $310,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can raised its position in Enerplus by 182.0% during the 2nd quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 308,600 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock worth $2,497,000 after buying an additional 199,150 shares during the last quarter. Boston Partners raised its position in Enerplus by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 406,435 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock worth $3,300,000 after buying an additional 1,727 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its position in Enerplus by 15.1% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 21,982 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock worth $178,000 after buying an additional 2,890 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 49.72% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) opened at $9.01 on Thursday. Enerplus has a 12-month low of $6.52 and a 12-month high of $10.20. The company has a market cap of $2,072.62, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.17 and a beta of 1.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 2.04 and a quick ratio of 2.04.

The firm also recently declared a monthly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 15th. Investors of record on Friday, December 29th will be given a $0.008 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 28th. This represents a $0.10 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.07%. Enerplus’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 2.77%.

Several research firms recently commented on ERF. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Enerplus from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $11.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, November 13th. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $16.00 price target on shares of Enerplus in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Scotiabank reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $16.00 price target on shares of Enerplus in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Enerplus from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Finally, CIBC began coverage on shares of Enerplus in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. They issued a “sector outperform” rating for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Enerplus has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $14.20.

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Enerplus Company Profile

Enerplus Corporation is an oil and natural gas company. The Company’s oil and natural gas property interests are located in the United States, primarily in North Dakota, Montana, and Pennsylvania, as well as in western Canada in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The Company’s oil and natural gas property interests contains proved plus probable gross reserves of approximately 14.3 million barrels (MMbbls) of light and medium crude oil, 39.0 MMbbls of heavy crude oil, 123 MMbbls of tight oil, 18.1 MMbbls of natural gas liquids (NGLs), 126.3 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of conventional natural gas and 1,002.8 Bcf of shale gas, for a total of approximately 382.5 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE).

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