Short Interest in Encana Corp (NYSE:ECA) Rises By 26.2%

Encana Corp (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in the month of April. As of April 30th, there was short interest totalling 14,444,063 shares, an increase of 26.2% from the April 13th total of 11,441,416 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 8,959,778 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.6 days. Currently, 1.5% of the company’s shares are short sold.

ECA has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Morgan Stanley raised Encana from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $15.00 to $18.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Jefferies Group set a $17.00 target price on Encana and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 30th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Encana from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. AltaCorp Capital upgraded Encana from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 7th. Finally, Societe Generale upgraded Encana from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $15.00 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, February 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, twenty-two have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $15.28.

ECA opened at $13.75 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $12.94 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.98, a PEG ratio of 2.27 and a beta of 2.01. Encana has a 1 year low of $8.01 and a 1 year high of $14.31. The company has a quick ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 1.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62.

Encana (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 1st. The oil and gas company reported $0.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.13 by $0.03. Encana had a return on equity of 6.96% and a net margin of 12.24%. The firm had revenue of $1.31 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.11 billion. analysts predict that Encana will post 0.59 earnings per share for the current year.

Encana announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, February 15th that authorizes the company to repurchase $400.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the oil and gas company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be given a $0.015 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 14th. This represents a $0.06 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.44%. Encana’s dividend payout ratio is currently 13.95%.

In other news, Director Howard John Mayson acquired 2,500 shares of Encana stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 1st. The stock was bought at an average price of $10.53 per share, for a total transaction of $26,325.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 25,104 shares in the company, valued at $264,345.12. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Suzanne P. Nimocks purchased 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 21st. The shares were bought at an average price of $10.62 per share, with a total value of $53,100.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 10,600 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $112,572. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders purchased 12,500 shares of company stock worth $133,265. 0.09% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Zweig DiMenna Associates LLC bought a new position in Encana during the first quarter valued at about $111,000. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC bought a new position in Encana during the fourth quarter valued at about $143,000. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. increased its stake in Encana by 69.8% during the first quarter. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. now owns 11,006 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $142,000 after acquiring an additional 4,524 shares during the period. Prospera Financial Services Inc bought a new position in Encana during the fourth quarter valued at about $153,000. Finally, M&T Bank Corp bought a new position in Encana during the first quarter valued at about $134,000. 66.50% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Encana Company Profile

Encana Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development, production, and marketing of natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids. The company holds interests in various assets, including the Montney in northern British Columbia and northwest Alberta; Duvernay in west central Alberta; and other upstream operations comprising Wheatland in southern Alberta, Horn River in northeast British Columbia, and Deep Panuke located in offshore Nova Scotia in Canada.

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