Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) (TSE:ERF) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Thursday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Enerplus Corporation, formerly known as Enerplus Resources, is an independent oil and gas production company with resources across Western Canada and the United States. The Company’s resource plays include shallow gas/coal bed methane, tight gas, crude oil waterfloods, Bakken/Tight oil and oil sands located in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Enerplus Corporation is based in Alberta, Canada. “

ERF has been the topic of several other research reports. Raymond James reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $35.00 price target on shares of Stantec in a report on Monday, May 13th. GMP Securities reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $22.25 price target on shares of SPDR Wells Fargo Preferred Stock ETF in a report on Friday, June 28th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity raised shares of Nuvista Energy to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, April 9th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Enerplus presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $15.55.

ERF stock opened at $7.47 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.75 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.69 and a beta of 1.66. Enerplus has a 52 week low of $6.53 and a 52 week high of $13.87. The business’s 50-day moving average is $7.34. The company has a current ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 1.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34.

Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) (TSE:ERF) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, May 10th. The oil and natural gas company reported $0.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.03. Enerplus had a net margin of 31.33% and a return on equity of 14.62%. The company had revenue of $216.21 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $215.00 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.12 earnings per share. As a group, analysts predict that Enerplus will post 0.92 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a monthly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 28th will be issued a $0.007 dividend. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.12%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 27th. Enerplus’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 8.26%.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its position in shares of Enerplus by 10.9% in the first quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 17,237 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $145,000 after buying an additional 1,699 shares during the last quarter. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC raised its position in shares of Enerplus by 10.1% in the second quarter. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC now owns 20,265 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 1,860 shares during the last quarter. Cetera Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Enerplus by 2.1% in the first quarter. Cetera Advisors LLC now owns 101,635 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $851,000 after buying an additional 2,115 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Group LLC raised its position in shares of Enerplus by 3.7% in the first quarter. Renaissance Group LLC now owns 67,202 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $565,000 after buying an additional 2,381 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Addenda Capital Inc. raised its position in shares of Enerplus by 0.4% in the first quarter. Addenda Capital Inc. now owns 808,915 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $6,787,000 after buying an additional 2,880 shares during the last quarter. 58.96% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Enerplus

Enerplus Corporation, together with subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and development of crude oil and natural gas in the United States and Canada. The company's oil and natural gas properties are located primarily in North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, and Pennsylvania; and Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.

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