Zacks Investment Research Downgrades PetroChina (PTR) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published 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 research analysts have also recently weighed in on PTR. Nomura started coverage on shares of PetroChina in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. They set a buy rating for the company. Morgan Stanley cut shares of PetroChina from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $83.00.

PetroChina (NYSE PTR) traded up $1.87 on Monday, hitting $76.27. 111,700 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 136,875. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a current ratio of 0.79 and a quick ratio of 0.56. PetroChina has a 1 year low of $60.69 and a 1 year high of $81.80. The stock has a market capitalization of $235,020.00, a PE ratio of 38.72 and a beta of 1.27.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. SG Americas Securities LLC increased its holdings in PetroChina by 7.5% during 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 buying an additional 142 shares during the last quarter. Jane Street Group LLC purchased a new stake in PetroChina during the third quarter valued at approximately $201,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its holdings in PetroChina by 14.9% during 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 buying an additional 446 shares during the last quarter. Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new stake in PetroChina during the third quarter valued at approximately $284,000. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in PetroChina by 7.4% during 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 buying an additional 317 shares during the last quarter. 0.20% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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