Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) (TSE:CNQ) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Canadian Natural Resources shares are expected to underperform the broader industry over the next few months, thanks to a few key factors, including fundamental headwinds, acquisition of a troubled project and rising capital expenditures. While oil production is surging in Canada, the country's E&P firms (including CNQ) remain out of favor, primarily due to the scarcity of pipelines. The resulting discount for Canadian crude should continue to depress CNQ's earnings/cash flows through the year, while affecting the fortunes of the newly acquired Joslyn oil sands project that has been long grappling with challenges of ballooning costs. The voluntary curtailment of production is also going to be a hurdle for the stock near term. In the wake of weak industry sentiment and apprehensions of more punishing times ahead with future cash flows drying up, there is little reason for investors to hold the stock. “

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on CNQ. GMP Securities reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Canadian Natural Resources in a research report on Monday, December 10th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Canadian Natural Resources in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. TD Securities reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Canadian Natural Resources in a research report on Friday, December 7th. ValuEngine cut Canadian Natural Resources from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 5th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Canadian Natural Resources in a research report on Tuesday, March 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $44.00.

Shares of NYSE CNQ opened at $28.02 on Tuesday. Canadian Natural Resources has a 52 week low of $21.85 and a 52 week high of $38.20. The company has a quick ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 0.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The company has a market cap of $32.82 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.03, a P/E/G ratio of 4.51 and a beta of 1.18.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 22nd will be paid a dividend of $0.2821 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 21st. This represents a $1.13 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.03%. This is a positive change from Canadian Natural Resources’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.26. Canadian Natural Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 46.98%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. IFP Advisors Inc increased its stake in shares of Canadian Natural Resources by 71.7% during the fourth quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 1,042 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $25,000 after purchasing an additional 435 shares during the period. Quadrant Capital Group LLC increased its stake in Canadian Natural Resources by 7.9% during the 4th quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 6,183 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $142,000 after acquiring an additional 454 shares during the period. Lourd Capital LLC increased its stake in Canadian Natural Resources by 1.1% during the 4th quarter. Lourd Capital LLC now owns 52,363 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $1,264,000 after acquiring an additional 552 shares during the period. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Canadian Natural Resources by 2.3% during the 4th quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 42,786 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $1,033,000 after acquiring an additional 966 shares during the period. Finally, Bremer Trust National Association bought a new position in Canadian Natural Resources during the 4th quarter worth $28,000. Institutional investors own 65.86% of the company’s stock.

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 light and medium crude oil, primary heavy crude oil, Pelican Lake heavy crude oil, bitumen, and synthetic crude oil (SCO). 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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