ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) saw a significant growth in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 12,180,000 shares, a growth of 7.2% from the January 15th total of 11,360,000 shares. Approximately 1.1% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 6,020,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.0 days.

In other news, President William L. Jr. Bullock sold 25,628 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.17, for a total transaction of $1,618,920.76. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now directly owns 32,926 shares in the company, valued at $2,079,935.42. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.66% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd boosted its position in shares of ConocoPhillips by 45.9% during the 4th quarter. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd now owns 17,900 shares of the energy producer’s stock worth $1,164,000 after purchasing an additional 5,634 shares in the last quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. boosted its position in shares of ConocoPhillips by 119.8% during the 4th quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 2,346,889 shares of the energy producer’s stock worth $152,618,000 after purchasing an additional 1,279,032 shares in the last quarter. Altavista Wealth Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of ConocoPhillips by 13.8% during the 4th quarter. Altavista Wealth Management Inc. now owns 22,910 shares of the energy producer’s stock worth $1,490,000 after purchasing an additional 2,781 shares in the last quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors boosted its position in shares of ConocoPhillips by 429.1% during the 4th quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 201,430 shares of the energy producer’s stock worth $13,186,000 after purchasing an additional 163,357 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bluefin Trading LLC bought a new position in shares of ConocoPhillips during the 4th quarter worth about $2,754,000. 71.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

COP traded down $0.20 during trading on Friday, reaching $58.62. 4,147,463 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 6,444,780. The company has a quick ratio of 2.26, a current ratio of 2.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42. The stock has a market capitalization of $63.50 billion, a PE ratio of 9.17, a P/E/G ratio of 2.70 and a beta of 1.11. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $62.80 and its 200 day moving average is $58.56. ConocoPhillips has a 12 month low of $50.13 and a 12 month high of $71.01.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 4th. The energy producer reported $0.76 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $8.14 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.83 billion. ConocoPhillips had a net margin of 19.60% and a return on equity of 11.84%. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.13 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that ConocoPhillips will post 3.58 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 14th will be given a dividend of $0.42 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 13th. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.87%. ConocoPhillips’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 46.80%.

ConocoPhillips announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, February 4th that permits the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the energy producer to buy up to 15.4% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

COP has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Atlantic Securities initiated coverage on ConocoPhillips in a report on Friday, December 13th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $75.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded ConocoPhillips from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 14th. UBS Group increased their price objective on ConocoPhillips from $75.00 to $85.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, January 24th. Piper Jaffray Companies initiated coverage on ConocoPhillips in a report on Tuesday, November 26th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $74.00 price objective for the company. Finally, MKM Partners initiated coverage on ConocoPhillips in a report on Thursday, December 5th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $72.00 price objective for the company. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $74.38.

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.

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