BMO Capital Markets Lowers Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) to Market Perform

BMO Capital Markets cut shares of Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. BMO Capital Markets currently has $45.00 target price on the oil and natural gas company’s stock, down from their prior target price of $46.00.

Several other research analysts have also issued reports on CLR. UBS Group upgraded shares of to a neutral rating and increased their price target for the stock from GBX 945 ($12.35) to GBX 2,060 ($26.92) in a research note on Thursday, June 20th. KeyCorp started coverage on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, June 4th. They issued a sector weight rating for the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Hersha Hospitality Trust from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. Seaport Global Securities reiterated a buy rating on shares of W&T Offshore in a research note on Friday, June 21st. Finally, Barclays increased their price target on shares of Roper Technologies from $342.00 to $355.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and twenty-seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Continental Resources has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $61.32.

NYSE:CLR opened at $40.99 on Thursday. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $39.42. Continental Resources has a 12 month low of $34.61 and a 12 month high of $71.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87, a quick ratio of 0.96 and a current ratio of 1.03. The stock has a market cap of $15.44 billion, a PE ratio of 14.43, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.30 and a beta of 1.67.

Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) last posted its earnings results on Monday, April 29th. The oil and natural gas company reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.47 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $1.12 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.07 billion. Continental Resources had a net margin of 20.06% and a return on equity of 16.71%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.68 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Continental Resources will post 2.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Continental Resources announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Monday, June 3rd that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the oil and natural gas company to purchase up to 7.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 21st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.05 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 6th. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.49%.

In related news, CEO Harold Hamm purchased 65,000 shares of Continental Resources stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 16th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $42.71 per share, for a total transaction of $2,776,150.00. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director John T. Mcnabb II purchased 1,000 shares of Continental Resources stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 5th. The stock was bought at an average price of $39.88 per share, with a total value of $39,880.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders bought 104,600 shares of company stock valued at $4,312,166 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 77.03% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in CLR. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in shares of Continental Resources by 26.7% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,220,703 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock worth $49,059,000 after acquiring an additional 257,350 shares during the period. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC grew its stake in shares of Continental Resources by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC now owns 23,686 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock worth $951,000 after acquiring an additional 908 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Continental Resources by 281.4% in the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 21,464 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock worth $864,000 after acquiring an additional 15,837 shares during the period. GSA Capital Partners LLP grew its stake in shares of Continental Resources by 48.0% in the fourth quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 11,128 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock worth $447,000 after acquiring an additional 3,610 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in shares of Continental Resources by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 828,055 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock worth $33,280,000 after acquiring an additional 37,093 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 20.08% of the company’s stock.

About Continental Resources

Continental Resources, Inc explores for, develops, and produces crude oil and natural gas properties primarily in the north, south, and east regions of the United States. The company sells its crude oil and natural gas production to energy marketing companies, crude oil refining companies, and natural gas gathering and processing companies.

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