Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $52.00 price objective on the energy producer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “ConocoPhillips’ expectation for higher production costs and operating expenses are likely to hurt profits. For 2019, the firm projects total production and operating expenses of $5.4 billion, higher than $5.2 billion for 2018. Also, for second-quarter 2019, the company projects production in the range of 1,240-1,280 MBoE/D, suggesting a reduction in sequential volumes. Moreover, the company’s first-quarter 2019 free cash flow plunged 51% sequentially to $1.4 billion due to low cash generation from operations. Additionally, with majority of ConocoPhillips’ production comprising oil, the drop in commodity prices due to escalating trade tensions between the United States and China and increasing crude inventories are hurting the firm’s bottom line. As such, the stock is expected to underperform the market. “

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Credit Suisse Group restated an outperform rating and issued a GBX 2,012 ($26.29) price objective on shares of Aston Martin Lagonda Global in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Morgan Stanley set a $100.00 price objective on shares of Cimarex Energy and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, May 16th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $30.00 price objective on shares of KLX Energy Services and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, March 21st. ValuEngine upgraded Zogenix from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Thursday, June 27th. Finally, Mizuho assumed coverage on Avrobio in a report on Wednesday, June 26th. They set a buy rating and a $28.00 target price for the company. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $77.07.

COP opened at $61.76 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a quick ratio of 1.72 and a current ratio of 1.86. ConocoPhillips has a 12 month low of $56.75 and a 12 month high of $80.24. The company has a fifty day moving average price of $59.91. The company has a market cap of $69.80 billion, a PE ratio of 13.63, a P/E/G ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.00.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The energy producer reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.08. ConocoPhillips had a net margin of 18.08% and a return on equity of 16.65%. The business had revenue of $10.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.16 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.96 EPS. On average, research analysts predict that ConocoPhillips will post 3.99 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 3rd. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 22nd will be issued a dividend of $0.305 per share. This represents a $1.22 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.98%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, July 19th. ConocoPhillips’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 26.93%.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in COP. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board grew its holdings in shares of ConocoPhillips by 252.0% in the 1st quarter. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board now owns 131,799 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $8,796,000 after acquiring an additional 94,355 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. bought a new position in shares of ConocoPhillips in the 1st quarter valued at about $11,951,000. ARP Americas LP bought a new position in shares of ConocoPhillips in the 1st quarter valued at about $945,000. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp grew its holdings in shares of ConocoPhillips by 8.7% in the 4th quarter. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp now owns 79,700 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $4,969,000 after acquiring an additional 6,400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Azimuth Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of ConocoPhillips by 5.9% in the 1st quarter. Azimuth Capital Management LLC now owns 10,078 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $673,000 after acquiring an additional 560 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.13% of the company’s stock.

About ConocoPhillips

ConocoPhillips explores for, produces, transports, and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and natural gas liquids worldwide. The company primarily engages in the tight oil reservoirs, LNG, oil sands, and other production operations. Its portfolio includes unconventional plays in North America; conventional assets in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia; various LNG developments; oil sands assets in Canada; and an inventory of conventional and unconventional exploration prospects.

Featured Story: What moving averages are used to define a golden cross?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on ConocoPhillips (COP)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP)

Receive News & Ratings for ConocoPhillips Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for ConocoPhillips and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.