PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.
According to Zacks, “ADRs of PetroChina have declined 5% over the last year, underperforming the Zacks International Integrated Energy industry, which has gained 8% 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. A tight leash on oil and gas lifting expenses that decreased 1.9% from the same period last year, also helped results. The energy titan also experienced strong natural gas demand, while operational optimization helped control costs. 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 give investors more reason to be cautious on the stock.”
Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Nomura assumed coverage on shares of PetroChina in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. They issued a “buy” rating for the company. Macquarie raised shares of PetroChina from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, March 5th. Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of PetroChina from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, Citigroup raised shares of PetroChina from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, January 11th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $83.00.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its holdings in PetroChina by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 700,700 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $49,007,000 after purchasing an additional 26,900 shares during the period. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership lifted its holdings in PetroChina by 32.8% in the 4th quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 536,564 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $37,527,000 after acquiring an additional 132,455 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in PetroChina by 195.3% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 412,756 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $28,868,000 after acquiring an additional 272,964 shares during the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lifted its holdings in PetroChina by 4.5% in the 4th quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 78,746 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $5,507,000 after acquiring an additional 3,404 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Boston Partners acquired a new stake in PetroChina in the 4th quarter valued at about $3,363,000. 0.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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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