Shares of Encana Corp (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) gapped up before the market opened on Monday . The stock had previously closed at $7.75, but opened at $7.57. Encana shares last traded at $7.43, with a volume of 1676206 shares traded.

Several brokerages have weighed in on ECA. Goldman Sachs Group cut Encana to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday. Macquarie upgraded Encana from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $7.28 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, March 4th. TheStreet upgraded Encana from a “d+” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 14th. Citigroup reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $13.00 price objective on shares of Encana in a research report on Monday, March 18th. Finally, Societe Generale set a $8.00 price objective on Encana and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 28th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $11.78.

The company has a market cap of $7.21 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.55, a PEG ratio of 0.52 and a beta of 2.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.50, a current ratio of 1.13 and a quick ratio of 1.13.

Encana (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 28th. The oil and gas company reported $0.32 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.18. The firm had revenue of $2.38 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.50 billion. Encana had a return on equity of 12.08% and a net margin of 18.00%. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Encana Corp will post 0.61 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 29th. Investors of record on Friday, March 15th were given a dividend of $0.019 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.03%. This is a boost from Encana’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.02. Encana’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 9.30%.

In related news, Director Suzanne P. Nimocks acquired 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 8th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $6.65 per share, with a total value of $66,500.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 25,600 shares in the company, valued at $170,240. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Steven W. Nance sold 16,000 shares of Encana stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $7.40, for a total transaction of $118,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 82,146 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $607,880.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.11% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ECA. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in Encana by 383.9% during the first quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 4,892 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $35,000 after buying an additional 3,881 shares in the last quarter. Focused Wealth Management Inc lifted its position in Encana by 200.0% in the fourth quarter. Focused Wealth Management Inc now owns 6,000 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $35,000 after acquiring an additional 12,000 shares during the last quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Encana in the fourth quarter valued at $36,000. Riverhead Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Encana by 421.1% in the third quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 8,338 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $108,000 after acquiring an additional 6,738 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Park National Corp OH purchased a new stake in Encana in the first quarter valued at $73,000. 77.32% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Encana Company Profile (NYSE:ECA)

Encana Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development, production, and marketing of natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids. It holds interests in various assets, including the Montney in northeast 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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