Imperial Oil (NYSEAMERICAN:IMO) (TSE:IMO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage presently has a $32.00 target price on the energy company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 12.52% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Imperial Oil has been upgraded to a ‘Buy’ on the back of certain tailwinds. Being one of the leading integrated oil companies in Canada, it has operations all across the hydrocarbon value chain, providing it with a high level of stability and reducing its risk profile. Especially, with the widening crude oil price differentials in Canada impacting upstream revenues, Imperial Oil’s downstream and chemical segments have acted as a booster. Ramp-up activities in the company’s upstream and downstream assets is expected to further augment its income and revenues. Balance sheet strength and investor-friendly moves are other positives. Recently, company increased its payout for the 25th consecutive year. It also renewed its share repurchase program to buy 40 million shares till June 2019, as a show of confidence in its cash-generating ability.”

Several other analysts have also commented on IMO. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on Imperial Oil in a research note on Monday, January 28th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $27.89 price target on the stock. Morgan Stanley set a $42.00 price target on Imperial Oil and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. CIBC reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of Imperial Oil in a research note on Saturday, February 2nd. Desjardins reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $38.00 price target on shares of Imperial Oil in a research note on Tuesday, February 5th. Finally, Raymond James reaffirmed an “average” rating and issued a $44.00 price target on shares of Imperial Oil in a research note on Wednesday, March 20th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $38.41.

Shares of NYSEAMERICAN:IMO traded up $0.31 during trading on Thursday, hitting $28.44. 10,875 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 367,204. Imperial Oil has a 1-year low of $24.29 and a 1-year high of $34.56.

Imperial Oil (NYSEAMERICAN:IMO) (TSE:IMO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, April 26th. The energy company reported $0.29 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by ($0.09). The firm had revenue of $7.98 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.21 billion. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.62 earnings per share.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Macquarie Group Ltd. bought a new position in Imperial Oil in the 4th quarter valued at $38,000. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. raised its position in Imperial Oil by 80.6% in the 1st quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. now owns 1,743 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $48,000 after purchasing an additional 778 shares during the last quarter. Atlas Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in Imperial Oil in the 4th quarter valued at $138,000. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc raised its position in Imperial Oil by 1,900.0% in the 1st quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc now owns 6,000 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $164,000 after purchasing an additional 5,700 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Quadrant Capital Group LLC raised its position in Imperial Oil by 879.6% in the 4th quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 6,446 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $157,000 after purchasing an additional 5,788 shares during the last quarter.

About Imperial Oil

Imperial Oil Limited explores for, produces, and sells crude oil and natural gas in Canada. The company operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Chemical. The Upstream segment explores for and produces crude oil, natural gas, synthetic oil, and bitumen. As of December 31, 2017, this segment had 450 million oil-equivalent barrels of proved undeveloped reserves.

Read More: How to interpret a stock’s beta number

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Imperial Oil (IMO)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Imperial Oil (NYSEAMERICAN:IMO)

Receive News & Ratings for Imperial Oil Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Imperial Oil and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.