Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) (TSE:CNQ) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $20.00 price target on the oil and gas producer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Canadian Natural Resources’ balanced and diverse production mix facilitates long-term value and reduces the risk profile. Canadian Natural’s acquisition of Athabasca Oil Sands project in 2017 has added significant value to its asset base and buoyed the production prospects. Notably, lower capital needs and improving operational efficiencies have enabled the company to generate significant free cash flow. What’s more, the company remains committed to investor friendly moves by the way of dividend payouts and stock buybacks. However, discounted crude prices in Canada is a drag on the company’s revenues. Further, the C$3.25-billion term loan to fund the Devon Energy asset buy has worsened the company’s debt-to-capital ratio and lead to higher interest outgo. The interplay of these factors account for the cautious stance.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on CNQ. Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of Canadian Natural Resources from a neutral rating to a buy rating and boosted their price target for the company from $15.00 to $21.00 in a report on Thursday, May 14th. UBS Group boosted their price target on shares of Canadian Natural Resources from $28.00 to $37.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, June 29th. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price target on shares of Canadian Natural Resources from $24.00 to $27.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Friday, May 8th. Wells Fargo & Co upped their target price on shares of Canadian Natural Resources from $16.00 to $17.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a report on Friday, May 29th. Finally, National Bank Financial raised shares of Canadian Natural Resources from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $39.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 23rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $36.38.

NYSE CNQ opened at $17.66 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60, a current ratio of 0.66 and a quick ratio of 0.51. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $17.61 and its 200 day simple moving average is $19.65. Canadian Natural Resources has a 12 month low of $6.71 and a 12 month high of $32.79. The company has a market capitalization of $20.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.87 and a beta of 1.72.

Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) (TSE:CNQ) last released its earnings results on Thursday, May 7th. The oil and gas producer reported ($0.25) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.04 by ($0.29). Canadian Natural Resources had a return on equity of 6.70% and a net margin of 13.51%. The business had revenue of $3.36 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.61 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.70 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Canadian Natural Resources will post -1.03 earnings per share for the current year.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ grew its holdings in Canadian Natural Resources by 8.9% during the 1st quarter. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ now owns 93,200 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $1,263,000 after acquiring an additional 7,600 shares during the last quarter. Hexavest Inc. grew its holdings in Canadian Natural Resources by 48.3% during the 2nd quarter. Hexavest Inc. now owns 91,189 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $1,577,000 after acquiring an additional 29,680 shares during the last quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co grew its holdings in Canadian Natural Resources by 119.3% during the 1st quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co now owns 20,629 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $279,000 after acquiring an additional 11,224 shares during the last quarter. Manning & Napier Group LLC grew its holdings in Canadian Natural Resources by 4.9% during the 2nd quarter. Manning & Napier Group LLC now owns 140,782 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $2,453,000 after acquiring an additional 6,639 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. bought a new stake in Canadian Natural Resources during the 4th quarter worth about $264,000. 67.78% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Canadian Natural Resources

Canadian Natural Resources Limited explores for, develops, produces, and markets crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs). The company offers synthetic crude oil (SCO), light and medium crude oil, bitumen (thermal oil), primary heavy crude oil, and Pelican Lake heavy crude oil. Its midstream assets include two crude oil pipeline systems; and a 50% working interest in an 84-megawatt cogeneration plant at Primrose.

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