Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) (TSE:ERF) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Enerplus Corporation, formerly known as Enerplus Resources, is an independent oil and gas production company with resources across Western Canada and the United States. The Company’s resource plays include shallow gas/coal bed methane, tight gas, crude oil waterfloods, Bakken/Tight oil and oil sands located in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Enerplus Corporation is based in Alberta, Canada. “

ERF has been the subject of several other reports. Raymond James reissued an average rating and issued a $21.50 target price on shares of Enerplus in a report on Monday, May 13th. Canaccord Genuity reissued a buy rating and issued a $18.00 target price on shares of Enerplus in a report on Tuesday, April 9th. Finally, TheStreet raised shares of Enerplus from a d+ rating to a c+ rating in a report on Monday, February 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $16.38.

Enerplus stock opened at $6.85 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.64 billion, a P/E ratio of 6.28 and a beta of 1.73. Enerplus has a 12-month low of $6.81 and a 12-month high of $13.87. The company has a quick ratio of 1.37, a current ratio of 1.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34.

Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) (TSE:ERF) last released its earnings results on Friday, May 10th. The oil and natural gas company reported $0.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $216.21 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $215.00 million. Enerplus had a net margin of 31.33% and a return on equity of 14.62%. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.12 EPS. Analysts forecast that Enerplus will post 1 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a monthly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 31st will be paid a $0.007 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 30th. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.23%. Enerplus’s payout ratio is 8.26%.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of ERF. Lindbrook Capital LLC bought a new position in Enerplus in the 4th quarter worth about $25,000. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc purchased a new stake in Enerplus in the first quarter worth $32,000. Lavaca Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Enerplus in the first quarter worth $35,000. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Enerplus in the fourth quarter worth $67,000. Finally, CWM Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Enerplus in the fourth quarter worth $86,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.16% of the company’s stock.

About Enerplus

Enerplus Corporation, together with subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and development of crude oil and natural gas in the United States and Canada. The company's oil and natural gas properties are located primarily in North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, and Pennsylvania; and Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.

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