Principal Financial Group Inc. Sells 83,559 Shares of Ecopetrol SA (EC)

Principal Financial Group Inc. cut its holdings in shares of Ecopetrol SA (NYSE:EC) by 27.0% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 225,695 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock after selling 83,559 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc.’s holdings in Ecopetrol were worth $3,584,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of the business. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position in shares of Ecopetrol by 1,014.4% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 180,828 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $4,870,000 after acquiring an additional 164,602 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in Ecopetrol by 6.2% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 265,703 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $7,155,000 after purchasing an additional 15,602 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Ecopetrol by 12.7% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,325,332 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $35,691,000 after purchasing an additional 149,455 shares in the last quarter. Credit Suisse AG raised its stake in Ecopetrol by 39.3% during the third quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 49,314 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $1,327,000 after purchasing an additional 13,915 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its stake in Ecopetrol by 201.5% during the third quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 5,696 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $153,000 after purchasing an additional 3,807 shares in the last quarter.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ecopetrol from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Ecopetrol from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $20.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday, April 5th. ValuEngine raised shares of Ecopetrol from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 15th. Finally, Santander raised shares of Ecopetrol from an “underperform” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 6th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $23.33.

Ecopetrol stock opened at $20.64 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $42.27 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.86, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.67 and a beta of 1.57. The company has a current ratio of 1.52, a quick ratio of 1.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60. Ecopetrol SA has a 52-week low of $15.25 and a 52-week high of $27.96.

Ecopetrol (NYSE:EC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, April 5th. The oil and gas company reported $0.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter. Ecopetrol had a net margin of 16.70% and a return on equity of 10.61%. The company had revenue of $6.02 billion for the quarter. On average, equities research analysts predict that Ecopetrol SA will post 1.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a special dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 3rd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 24th will be paid a $0.3595 dividend. This represents a dividend yield of 2.95%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, April 23rd. Ecopetrol’s dividend payout ratio is currently 35.06%.

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Ecopetrol Company Profile

Ecopetrol SA operates as an integrated oil and gas company. It operates through three segments: Exploration and Production; Refining, Petrochemical, and Biofuels; and Transport and Logistics. The company produces crude oil and gas; and engages in the extraction, collection, treatment, storage and pumping or compression of hydrocarbons.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ecopetrol (NYSE:EC)

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