Zacks Investment Research Lowers Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) (TSE:ERF) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Enerplus Corporation, formerly known as Enerplus Resources, is an independent oil and gas production company with resources across Western Canada and the United States. The Company’s resource plays include shallow gas/coal bed methane, tight gas, crude oil waterfloods, Bakken/Tight oil and oil sands located in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Enerplus Corporation is based in Alberta, Canada. “

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on ERF. Raymond James reiterated a neutral rating and set a $35.00 target price on shares of Stantec in a research report on Monday, May 13th. GMP Securities reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $22.25 target price on shares of SPDR Wells Fargo Preferred Stock ETF in a research note on Friday, June 28th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity raised shares of Nuvista Energy to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $15.55.

Shares of NYSE ERF opened at $7.47 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.85 and a beta of 1.67. Enerplus has a 12-month low of $6.53 and a 12-month high of $13.87. The business’s fifty day moving average is $7.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 1.37 and a current ratio of 1.37.

Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) (TSE:ERF) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, May 10th. The oil and natural gas company reported $0.23 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.03. Enerplus had a net margin of 31.33% and a return on equity of 14.62%. The firm had revenue of $216.21 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $215.00 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.12 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Enerplus will post 0.92 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a monthly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 28th will be issued a dividend of $0.007 per share. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 27th. Enerplus’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 8.26%.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. TD Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Enerplus by 16.9% in the 1st quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,494,157 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock worth $46,060,000 after buying an additional 792,825 shares during the last quarter. Boston Partners boosted its position in shares of Enerplus by 1.1% during the 1st quarter. Boston Partners now owns 4,250,136 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $35,744,000 after acquiring an additional 44,202 shares during the last quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. boosted its position in shares of Enerplus by 14.6% during the 4th quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. now owns 4,080,590 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $31,755,000 after acquiring an additional 518,790 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its position in shares of Enerplus by 9.3% during the 1st quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 3,588,486 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $30,180,000 after acquiring an additional 303,847 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Enerplus during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $26,268,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 58.98% of the company’s stock.

About Enerplus

Enerplus Corporation, together with subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and development of crude oil and natural gas in the United States and Canada. The company's oil and natural gas properties are located primarily in North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, and Pennsylvania; and Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.

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