Encana (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Encana’s shares have moved up more than 30.2% over the past six months, outperforming the broader industry. This price performance is also backed by average positive earnings surprise of 83.27% in the trailing four quarters. We see Encana’s transition into crude as a big positive for the company going forward. Of late, Encana has successfully repositioned its asset base and shifted focus to four key growth areas namely Montney, Duvemay, Eagle Ford and Permian. ECA delivered robust results in the recent quarter on high crude prices and output gains. The company is targeting a production growth of 60% from its core assets through 2021, while being within its cash flows. However, service cost inflation is likely to limit margins. Moreover, with natural gas still accounting for 20% of ECA’s total output, the company remains exposed to weak gas prices. Hence, we take a cautious stance on the stock.”

ECA has been the subject of several other reports. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Encana from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 27th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Encana from $16.00 to $20.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 23rd. Goldman Sachs Group decreased their price objective on shares of Encana from $17.25 to $14.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, April 13th. National Bank Financial increased their price objective on shares of Encana from $18.00 to $22.00 and gave the stock a “$12.96” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 18th. Finally, Tudor Pickering cut shares of Encana from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 10th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, twenty have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $15.98.

NYSE ECA traded down $0.10 on Monday, hitting $12.86. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 223,125 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,653,108. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.16. Encana has a 1-year low of $8.79 and a 1-year high of $14.31. The stock has a market cap of $12.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.93, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.98 and a beta of 1.97.

Encana (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 1st. The oil and gas company reported $0.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.13 by $0.03. Encana had a net margin of 12.24% and a return on equity of 6.96%. The firm had revenue of $1.31 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.11 billion. analysts predict that Encana will post 0.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of ECA. Sei Investments Co. lifted its stake in shares of Encana by 34.7% in the first quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 832,475 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $9,159,000 after buying an additional 214,505 shares in the last quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP lifted its stake in shares of Encana by 53.9% in the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 595,832 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $7,969,000 after buying an additional 208,800 shares in the last quarter. Sentry Investments Corp. lifted its stake in shares of Encana by 48.7% in the first quarter. Sentry Investments Corp. now owns 348,250 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $4,935,000 after buying an additional 114,100 shares in the last quarter. Fiera Capital Corp lifted its position in shares of Encana by 15.0% during the first quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 1,815,092 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $19,935,000 after purchasing an additional 236,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Seven Eight Capital LP bought a new position in shares of Encana during the first quarter valued at about $9,583,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 66.92% of the company’s stock.

About Encana

Encana Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development, production, and marketing of natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids. The company holds interests in various assets, including the Montney in northern British Columbia and northwest Alberta; Duvernay in west central Alberta; and other upstream operations comprising Wheatland in southern Alberta, Horn River in northeast British Columbia, and Deep Panuke located in offshore Nova Scotia in Canada.

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