ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) was the recipient of a large drop in short interest in the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 12,369,886 shares, a drop of 22.7% from the July 13th total of 16,007,086 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 5,857,374 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.1 days. Currently, 1.1% of the company’s stock are sold short.

COP opened at $69.77 on Friday. ConocoPhillips has a fifty-two week low of $42.26 and a fifty-two week high of $73.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 1.75 and a quick ratio of 1.58. The stock has a market cap of $83.60 billion, a PE ratio of 116.28, a PEG ratio of 1.88 and a beta of 1.20.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The energy producer reported $1.09 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.01. ConocoPhillips had a return on equity of 10.26% and a net margin of 13.26%. The company had revenue of $9.24 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.79 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.14 EPS. research analysts forecast that ConocoPhillips will post 4.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.

ConocoPhillips announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, July 12th that permits the company to buyback $9.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the energy producer to repurchase up to 10.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 4th. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 23rd will be paid a dividend of $0.285 per share. This represents a $1.14 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.63%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, July 20th. ConocoPhillips’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 190.00%.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on ConocoPhillips from $78.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on ConocoPhillips from $82.00 to $83.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 27th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price objective on ConocoPhillips from $82.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Barclays raised their price objective on ConocoPhillips from $78.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 11th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada raised their price objective on ConocoPhillips from $82.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company. ConocoPhillips presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $71.32.

In other ConocoPhillips news, SVP Janet Langford Kelly sold 49,496 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.00, for a total transaction of $3,514,216.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 41,211 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,925,981. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Glenda Mae Schwarz sold 6,763 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.04, for a total value of $439,865.52. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 10,182 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $662,237.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of COP. IFM Investors Pty Ltd raised its stake in shares of ConocoPhillips by 43.0% in the 2nd quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 53,405 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $3,718,000 after acquiring an additional 16,060 shares in the last quarter. Synovus Financial Corp raised its stake in shares of ConocoPhillips by 7.5% in the 2nd quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 50,552 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $3,511,000 after acquiring an additional 3,517 shares in the last quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of ConocoPhillips by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC now owns 399,086 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $27,784,000 after acquiring an additional 2,042 shares in the last quarter. Barings LLC raised its stake in shares of ConocoPhillips by 29.8% in the 2nd quarter. Barings LLC now owns 75,939 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $5,287,000 after acquiring an additional 17,442 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Beese Fulmer Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of ConocoPhillips by 9.0% in the 2nd quarter. Beese Fulmer Investment Management Inc. now owns 82,807 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $5,765,000 after acquiring an additional 6,811 shares in the last quarter. 71.47% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

ConocoPhillips Company Profile

ConocoPhillips explores for, produces, transports, and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and natural gas liquids worldwide. Its portfolio includes North American tight oil and oil sands assets in Canada; conventional assets in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia; various LNG developments; and an inventory of conventional and unconventional exploration prospects.

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