PetroChina Company Limited (NYSE:PTR) Sees Significant Decrease in Short Interest

PetroChina Company Limited (NYSE:PTR) was the recipient of a significant drop in short interest in March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 346,500 shares, a drop of 48.4% from the March 15th total of 671,400 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 184,500 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.9 days.

Several research firms have commented on PTR. UBS Group raised PetroChina from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 13th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of PetroChina from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 31st. Finally, The Goldman Sachs Group upgraded PetroChina from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $37.00 to $61.00 in a research note on Thursday, February 25th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $47.63.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. State Street Corp acquired a new stake in PetroChina in the third quarter worth approximately $1,121,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. grew its position in PetroChina by 14.0% in the third quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,941 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $116,000 after acquiring an additional 483 shares during the last quarter. ExodusPoint Capital Management LP bought a new position in shares of PetroChina in the third quarter worth about $237,000. Jane Street Group LLC acquired a new position in PetroChina during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $400,000. Finally, JJJ Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in PetroChina in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $28,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

Shares of PTR stock traded up $0.25 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $36.41. 228,352 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 184,961. The stock has a market cap of $66.64 billion, a PE ratio of 24.27, a PEG ratio of 18.87 and a beta of 0.82. PetroChina has a 1 year low of $27.67 and a 1 year high of $40.49. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $36.99 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $32.62. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.17.

PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, March 24th. The oil and gas company reported $0.68 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by ($0.54). PetroChina had a net margin of 0.89% and a return on equity of 1.35%. On average, equities analysts expect that PetroChina will post 1.21 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a semi-annual dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 9th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 21st will be paid a $1.336 dividend. This is a boost from PetroChina’s previous semi-annual dividend of $1.26. This represents a yield of 4.4%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 18th. PetroChina’s payout ratio is currently 62.12%.

PetroChina Company Profile

PetroChina Company Limited, together with its subsidiaries, engages in a range of petroleum related products, services, and activities in Mainland China and internationally. It operates through Exploration and Production, Refining and Chemicals, Marketing, and Natural Gas and Pipeline segments. The company's Exploration and Production segment engages in the exploration, development, production, and marketing of crude oil and natural gas.

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