PetroChina (PTR) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “ADRs of PetroChina have increased 16% over a year, handily outperforming the stocks in this industry, which have collectively gained 6% over the same period. With higher oil prices helping the state-run giant report a jump in first-half profits, the stock should continue to prosper. In particular, the energy titan's biggest unit – exploration and production – reported a 332.7% surge in profits as oil price soared 33%. PetroChina also experienced strong refined products demand and higher natural gas sales. However, the company's weak oil production growth prospect is an area of concern. A limited international operation and an ambitious investment program gives investors more reason to be cautious on the stock. Hence, while looking incrementally positive, PetroChina ADRs are expected to remain soft.”

Several other analysts have also weighed in on the company. Macquarie lowered PetroChina from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, October 9th. Bank of America reissued a buy rating and issued a $106.00 target price on shares of PetroChina in a report on Monday, September 24th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $91.90.

PetroChina stock opened at $74.61 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.54 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.20. The firm has a market capitalization of $140.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 41.92 and a beta of 1.42. PetroChina has a fifty-two week low of $62.91 and a fifty-two week high of $85.02.

PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 30th. The oil and gas company reported $1.38 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.97 by ($2.59). The firm had revenue of $88.83 billion during the quarter. PetroChina had a net margin of 1.75% and a return on equity of 2.72%. Equities analysts predict that PetroChina will post 5.47 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a special dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 13th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 13th will be given a dividend of $0.325 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 12th. This represents a yield of 1.07%. PetroChina’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 96.07%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Acadian Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in PetroChina during the second quarter worth about $188,000. Eagle Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in PetroChina during the second quarter worth about $220,000. Raymond James & Associates purchased a new position in PetroChina during the second quarter worth about $246,000. Stevens Capital Management LP purchased a new position in PetroChina during the second quarter worth about $249,000. Finally, Capital Fund Management S.A. purchased a new position in PetroChina during the second quarter worth about $267,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 0.26% of the company’s stock.

About PetroChina

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 Exploration and Production segment engages in the exploration, development, production, and marketing of crude oil and natural gas.

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