Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Encana Corporation (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $11.00 target price on the oil and gas company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Buoyed by a slew of positive developments, we are recalibrating our investment thesis on Encana to Hold from Sell. The Canadian energy behemoth – which smashed profit estimates in the Jun quarter on the back of solid production and margins – holds one of the largest natural gas resource portfolios in North America. Additionally, the company's cost cut initiatives and divestiture of high-cost low-profit gas assets will increase its financial flexibility and fund the transition to a more diversified oil and gas firm. Consequently, we would rather wait for a better entry point before accumulating shares. Therefore, notwithstanding the stock's impressive run in the past 12 months, we believe that ECA offers more upside for investors going ahead.”

ECA has been the subject of several other research reports. Citigroup Inc. dropped their price target on Encana Corporation from $14.00 to $13.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Desjardins set a $13.00 price target on Encana Corporation and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, April 20th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. lifted their price target on Encana Corporation from $14.00 to $15.00 and gave the stock a strong-buy rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Macquarie lowered Encana Corporation from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 21st. Finally, TD Securities lifted their price target on Encana Corporation from $11.50 to $12.50 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and four have issued a strong buy rating to the company. Encana Corporation has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $13.32.

Encana Corporation (NYSE:ECA) opened at 10.16 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $9.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.11 and a beta of 2.02. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $9.13 and a 200 day moving average price of $10.87. Encana Corporation has a 52-week low of $7.59 and a 52-week high of $13.85.

Encana Corporation (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 21st. The oil and gas company reported $0.18 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.03 by $0.15. Encana Corporation had a return on equity of 6.25% and a net margin of 19.09%. The business had revenue of $1.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $773.19 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.10 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Encana Corporation will post $0.50 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.015 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $0.06 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.59%. Encana Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is presently 6.98%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Causeway Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Encana Corporation by 95.2% in the first quarter. Causeway Capital Management LLC now owns 48,768,776 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $571,082,000 after buying an additional 23,779,815 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Encana Corporation by 11,232.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 21,896,113 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $256,403,000 after buying an additional 21,702,894 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its position in shares of Encana Corporation by 337.3% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 12,168,568 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $142,337,000 after buying an additional 9,385,795 shares in the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc increased its position in shares of Encana Corporation by 90.9% in the second quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 6,575,705 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $57,790,000 after buying an additional 3,131,997 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Steadfast Capital Management LP increased its position in shares of Encana Corporation by 12.2% in the first quarter. Steadfast Capital Management LP now owns 19,974,573 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $233,902,000 after buying an additional 2,164,300 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.78% of the company’s stock.

About Encana Corporation

Encana Corporation is an energy producer that is focused on developing its multi-basin portfolio of natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs) producing plays. The Company’s operations also include the marketing of natural gas, oil and NGLs. All of its reserves and production are located in North America.

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Analyst Recommendations for Encana Corporation (NYSE:ECA)

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