ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) was the recipient of a significant drop in short interest in February. As of February 14th, there was short interest totalling 8,380,000 shares, a drop of 31.2% from the January 30th total of 12,180,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 6,060,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.4 days. Currently, 0.8% of the shares of the stock are sold short.
In related news, President William L. Jr. Bullock sold 25,628 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.17, for a total value of $1,618,920.76. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now directly owns 32,926 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,079,935.42. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Ellen Desanctis sold 41,882 shares of ConocoPhillips stock in a transaction on Friday, February 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.55, for a total transaction of $2,452,191.10. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 32,902 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,926,412.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.66% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of ConocoPhillips by 4.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 79,994,496 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $4,879,663,000 after acquiring an additional 3,103,095 shares in the last quarter. Capital World Investors raised its holdings in shares of ConocoPhillips by 7.6% in the fourth quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 19,480,517 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $1,266,817,000 after acquiring an additional 1,379,501 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its holdings in shares of ConocoPhillips by 16.0% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 19,477,396 shares of the energy producer’s stock valued at $1,266,615,000 after acquiring an additional 2,689,765 shares in the last quarter. Capital International Investors raised its holdings in ConocoPhillips by 8.0% in the fourth quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 18,108,471 shares of the energy producer’s stock worth $1,177,594,000 after purchasing an additional 1,345,285 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in ConocoPhillips by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 16,373,044 shares of the energy producer’s stock worth $1,062,524,000 after purchasing an additional 269,662 shares in the last quarter. 67.97% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 4th. The energy producer reported $0.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by ($0.05). The company had revenue of $8.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.83 billion. ConocoPhillips had a net margin of 19.60% and a return on equity of 11.84%. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.13 earnings per share. On average, research analysts forecast that ConocoPhillips will post 3.29 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 14th will be paid a dividend of $0.42 per share. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.28%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 13th. ConocoPhillips’s dividend payout ratio is currently 46.80%.
ConocoPhillips announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Tuesday, February 4th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the energy producer to purchase 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 shares are undervalued.
COP has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Susquehanna Bancshares initiated coverage on shares of ConocoPhillips in a research note on Tuesday, January 14th. They set a “positive” rating and a $80.00 price objective for the company. UBS Group lifted their price objective on shares of ConocoPhillips from $75.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 24th. Capital One Financial initiated coverage on shares of ConocoPhillips in a research note on Tuesday, February 11th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $70.00 price objective for the company. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of ConocoPhillips in a research note on Tuesday, November 19th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of ConocoPhillips from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 14th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $74.38.
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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