Encana (ECA) Downgraded by Raymond James to Outperform

Raymond James downgraded shares of Encana (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) from a strong-buy rating to an outperform rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The brokerage currently has $17.00 price target on the oil and gas company’s stock, down from their previous price target of $18.00.

ECA has been the topic of a number of other research reports. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $18.00 price objective on shares of Encana in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Encana from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. National Bank Financial decreased their price objective on Encana from $22.00 to $21.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, August 2nd. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $19.00 price objective on shares of Encana in a research note on Thursday, July 12th. Finally, CIBC started coverage on Encana in a research note on Friday, October 5th. They set a neutral rating on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Encana presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $15.36.

Encana stock traded down $0.41 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $8.55. The stock had a trading volume of 63,446,589 shares, compared to its average volume of 18,256,300. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 0.73 and a current ratio of 0.73. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.78 and a beta of 2.15. Encana has a 1-year low of $8.44 and a 1-year high of $14.31.

Encana (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The oil and gas company reported $0.17 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.13 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $1.26 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.25 billion. Encana had a positive return on equity of 9.46% and a negative net margin of 3.98%. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Encana will post 0.7 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 31st. Investors of record on Friday, December 14th will be given a dividend of $0.015 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 13th. This represents a $0.06 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.70%. Encana’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 13.95%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. lifted its position in Encana by 274.8% during the second quarter. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. now owns 9,002 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $213,000 after buying an additional 6,600 shares during the period. Clinton Group Inc. purchased a new position in Encana during the second quarter worth about $131,000. Advisor Partners LLC purchased a new position in Encana during the second quarter worth about $134,000. Fox Run Management L.L.C. purchased a new position in Encana during the third quarter worth about $196,000. Finally, Suntrust Banks Inc. purchased a new position in Encana during the first quarter worth about $165,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 67.32% 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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