Zacks Investment Research Lowers Ecopetrol (NYSE:EC) to Hold

Ecopetrol (NYSE:EC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “ECOPETROL S.A. is a Colombia-based petroleum company. The Company is focused on identifying opportunities primarily within the eastern Llanos Basin of Colombia, as well as in other areas in Colombia and northern Peru. The Company’s operation includes the extraction, collection, treatment, storage and pumping or compression of hydrocarbons. Ecopetrol has four management divisions to handle the operation of 163 production fields. Ecopetrol’s production is concentrated in the upper, middle and lower Magdalena, the Eastern Plans and the Caribbean, and the provinces of Putumayo, Cesar and Norte de Santander. “

NYSE EC traded up $0.06 on Tuesday, hitting $13.14. 668,508 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,038,853. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $13.39 and its 200-day moving average price is $13.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71, a current ratio of 1.51 and a quick ratio of 1.14. The firm has a market capitalization of $27.01 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.16 and a beta of 1.85. Ecopetrol has a twelve month low of $8.50 and a twelve month high of $15.35.

Ecopetrol (NYSE:EC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 4th. The oil and gas company reported $0.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.06). The company had revenue of $5.27 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.26 billion. Ecopetrol had a return on equity of 7.49% and a net margin of 13.23%. As a group, equities analysts expect that Ecopetrol will post 1.9 EPS for the current year.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Ecopetrol in the 2nd quarter valued at about $28,000. Quadrant Capital Group LLC grew its stake in shares of Ecopetrol by 60.3% in the 2nd quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 4,600 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $67,000 after buying an additional 1,731 shares in the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund bought a new stake in shares of Ecopetrol in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $95,000. Barclays PLC bought a new stake in shares of Ecopetrol in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $84,000. Finally, Atlas Capital Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Ecopetrol by 27.0% in the 1st quarter. Atlas Capital Advisors LLC now owns 7,023 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $90,000 after buying an additional 1,495 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

About Ecopetrol

Ecopetrol SA engages in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas. It operates through the following segments: Exploration and Production, Transportation and Logistics, and Refining and Petrochemicals. The Exploration and Production segment deals with oil and gas exploration and production activities.

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