Zacks Investment Research Downgrades PetroChina (PTR) to Hold

PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “ADRs of PetroChina have declined 3.3% over the last year, underperforming the Zacks International Integrated Energy industry, which has gained 16.5% over the same period. But with higher commodity prices and operational efficiency helping the state-run giant report strong Q3 results, the stock might return to favor. The energy titan is expected to benefit from its robust portfolio of assets and leverage to the fast-growing Chinese economy. PTR’s natural gas business will lucrative growth prospects in the coming years as China moves from coal to natural gas. However, we are concerned over China’s decision to cut natural gas prices for industrial users that reduced margins in PTR’s gas-wholesale business. A limited international operation and an ambitious investment program gives investors more reason to be cautious on the stock. Hence, while being incrementally positive on PTR, we expect the ADRs to remain soft.”

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on PTR. Nomura started coverage on PetroChina in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. They issued a “buy” rating for the company. Morgan Stanley downgraded PetroChina from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $83.00.

Shares of PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) traded up $0.64 on Monday, hitting $74.45. 82,474 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 148,967. The stock has a market capitalization of $226,300.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.79 and a beta of 1.27. PetroChina has a 1 year low of $60.69 and a 1 year high of $81.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a current ratio of 0.79 and a quick ratio of 0.56.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in PTR. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its holdings in shares of PetroChina by 7.5% in the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 2,031 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $124,000 after acquiring an additional 142 shares in the last quarter. Jane Street Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of PetroChina in the third quarter valued at about $201,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its holdings in shares of PetroChina by 14.9% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 3,435 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $210,000 after acquiring an additional 446 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in shares of PetroChina by 7.4% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,617 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $283,000 after acquiring an additional 317 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Trexquant Investment LP bought a new stake in shares of PetroChina in the third quarter valued at about $284,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

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About PetroChina

PetroChina Company Limited is a China-based company principally engaged in the production and distribution of oil and gas. The Company mainly operates through four business segments. The Exploration and Production segment is principally engaged in the exploration, development, production and sales of crude oil and natural gas.

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