SunTrust Banks Begins Coverage on Enerplus (ERF)

SunTrust Banks assumed coverage on shares of Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) (TSE:ERF) in a research note issued on Thursday, The Fly reports. The brokerage set a “buy” rating on the oil and natural gas company’s stock.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research lowered Enerplus from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. Enerplus has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $14.40.

Shares of Enerplus traded down $0.25, hitting $12.13, during trading hours on Thursday, according to Marketbeat Ratings. 124,979 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,096,465. The company has a quick ratio of 1.53, a current ratio of 1.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40. Enerplus has a 1-year low of $7.55 and a 1-year high of $13.49. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.11 billion, a PE ratio of 15.16 and a beta of 1.34.

Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) (TSE:ERF) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 3rd. The oil and natural gas company reported $0.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.20 by ($0.11). Enerplus had a net margin of 19.43% and a return on equity of 12.94%. The firm had revenue of $209.71 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $213.30 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.32 EPS. analysts anticipate that Enerplus will post 0.93 EPS for the current year.

Enerplus declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, March 21st that permits the company to buyback 17,100,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the oil and natural gas company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale acquired a new position in Enerplus in the first quarter valued at about $149,000. Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new position in Enerplus in the fourth quarter valued at about $149,000. Two Sigma Securities LLC acquired a new position in Enerplus in the fourth quarter valued at about $155,000. First Republic Investment Management Inc. acquired a new position in Enerplus in the fourth quarter valued at about $177,000. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC acquired a new position in Enerplus in the fourth quarter valued at about $180,000. 47.83% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Enerplus Company Profile

Enerplus Corporation, together with subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and development of crude oil and natural gas in the United States and Canada. Its crude oil properties are located in the Fort Berthold region of North Dakota and the Elm Coulee field in Richland County, Montana; and crude oil Waterfloods in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada.

The Fly

Analyst Recommendations for Enerplus (NYSE:ERF)

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