Clearbridge LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Encana Corp (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor acquired 574,170 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,319,000.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Encana by 24.5% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 27,563,490 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $361,359,000 after buying an additional 5,428,023 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Encana by 2.2% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 26,398,158 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $346,081,000 after purchasing an additional 561,436 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc boosted its holdings in Encana by 2.2% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 26,398,158 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $346,081,000 after purchasing an additional 561,436 shares during the last quarter. Letko Brosseau & Associates Inc. boosted its holdings in Encana by 48.8% during the fourth quarter. Letko Brosseau & Associates Inc. now owns 23,139,444 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $133,503,000 after purchasing an additional 7,590,059 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mackenzie Financial Corp boosted its holdings in Encana by 83.5% during the fourth quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 21,176,898 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $122,402,000 after purchasing an additional 9,633,795 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.58% of the company’s stock.

In other Encana news, Director Fred J. Fowler purchased 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 18th. The shares were bought at an average price of $5.64 per share, with a total value of $56,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 25,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $141,000. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Douglas James Suttles purchased 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 20th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $5.55 per share, for a total transaction of $27,750.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 159,212 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $883,626.60. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders acquired 30,200 shares of company stock worth $186,894. Insiders own 0.09% of the company’s stock.

Shares of ECA stock opened at $7.24 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.42, a P/E/G ratio of 0.43 and a beta of 2.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.50, a quick ratio of 1.13 and a current ratio of 1.13. Encana Corp has a 52 week low of $5.00 and a 52 week high of $14.28.

Encana (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 28th. The oil and gas company reported $0.32 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.12 by $0.20. Encana had a net margin of 18.00% and a return on equity of 12.08%. Research analysts predict that Encana Corp will post 0.76 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be given a $0.019 dividend. This is a positive change from Encana’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.02. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.05%. Encana’s payout ratio is currently 6.98%.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on ECA shares. Royal Bank of Canada cut shares of Encana to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, December 20th. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on shares of Encana in a report on Tuesday, March 5th. They set a “buy” rating and a $9.00 price target on the stock. Macquarie cut shares of Encana from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 28th. Cowen restated a “hold” rating and set a $10.00 price target on shares of Encana in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. Finally, TD Securities cut their price target on shares of Encana from $16.00 to $10.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, February 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $11.75.

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Encana Profile

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.

Further Reading: QQQ ETF

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Encana (NYSE:ECA)

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