Continental Resources (CLR) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has a $55.00 price target on the oil and natural gas company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 11.75% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Continental Resources’ large and geographically diversified asset base includes resources in the Bakken Shale, as well as STACK and SCOOP plays in Oklahoma. Bakken comprises almost 52% of the upstream energy player’s proved reserves, wherein the firm is planning to allocate roughly 50% of its capital budget for drilling and completion activities in 2019. Although majority of the company’s total production is oil, Continental Resources is not affected by volatile oil prices since the breakeven prices in the above-mentioned operating plays are considerably lower than the current commodity price. On average, Continental Resources’ free cash flow is expected to surge $700-$800 million per annum over the next five years, reflecting tremendous strength in its operations. Therefore, the stock possesses tremendous upside potential.”

CLR has been the topic of several other research reports. Capital One Financial upgraded Continental Resources from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 20th. TD Securities reduced their target price on Continental Resources from $57.00 to $56.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $57.00 target price on shares of Continental Resources in a report on Friday, April 12th. B. Riley set a $49.00 target price on Continental Resources and gave the company a “buy clr” rating in a report on Monday, December 24th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Continental Resources from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, February 8th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and thirty-two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $64.59.

NYSE:CLR opened at $49.22 on Wednesday. Continental Resources has a 1 year low of $35.54 and a 1 year high of $71.95. The company has a quick ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90. The stock has a market capitalization of $18.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.47 and a beta of 1.46.

Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) last posted its earnings results on Monday, February 18th. The oil and natural gas company reported $0.54 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.61 by ($0.07). Continental Resources had a net margin of 20.99% and a return on equity of 18.28%. The business had revenue of $1.15 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.17 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.41 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 9.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Continental Resources will post 2.17 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Continental Resources news, CEO Harold Hamm purchased 600,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 22nd. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $42.98 per share, for a total transaction of $25,788,000.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Over the last quarter, insiders have acquired 1,675,805 shares of company stock valued at $73,335,967. Company insiders own 76.83% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Continental Resources during the 4th quarter worth approximately $52,621,000. American Century Companies Inc. raised its stake in shares of Continental Resources by 142.6% during the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 823,493 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $33,096,000 after acquiring an additional 484,089 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of Continental Resources by 26.7% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,220,703 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $49,059,000 after acquiring an additional 257,350 shares during the last quarter. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Continental Resources during the fourth quarter valued at about $8,107,000. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised its stake in shares of Continental Resources by 12.3% during the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,695,983 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $115,802,000 after acquiring an additional 185,580 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 21.54% of the company’s stock.

About Continental Resources

Continental Resources, Inc explores for, develops, and produces crude oil and natural gas properties primarily in the north, south, and east regions of the United States. The company sells its crude oil and natural gas production to energy marketing companies, crude oil refining companies, and natural gas gathering and processing companies.

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