Encana Corp. (NYSE:ECA) hit a new 52-week high during trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $9.54 and last traded at $9.32, with a volume of 9,170,889 shares. The stock had previously closed at $9.16.

Several brokerages have recently commented on ECA. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $10.00 price target on shares of Encana Corp. in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $11.00 price target (up previously from $8.00) on shares of Encana Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, May 4th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Encana Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 13th. FirstEnergy Capital cut shares of Encana Corp. from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 18th. Finally, AltaCorp Capital cut shares of Encana Corp. from a “sector perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $8.45.

The company has a 50 day moving average price of $7.99 and a 200 day moving average price of $6.58. The firm’s market cap is $7.96 billion.

Encana Corp. (NYSE:ECA) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.10 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.09) by $0.19. During the same quarter last year, the company posted ($0.20) EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Encana Corp. will post ($0.11) EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.015 per share. This represents a $0.06 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.66%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. State of Wisconsin Investment Board increased its stake in Encana Corp. by 67.8% in the fourth quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 731,847 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,704,000 after buying an additional 295,700 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley increased its stake in Encana Corp. by 23.1% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,944,743 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,990,000 after buying an additional 552,204 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in Encana Corp. by 88.4% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,880,440 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,572,000 after buying an additional 882,374 shares in the last quarter. Trexquant Investment LP purchased a new stake in Encana Corp. during the fourth quarter worth $1,602,000. Finally, Bridgewater Associates LP increased its stake in Encana Corp. by 17.2% in the fourth quarter. Bridgewater Associates LP now owns 265,700 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,345,000 after buying an additional 39,000 shares in the last quarter.

Encana Corp is a Canada-based energy producer, which is engaged in the business of exploration, development, production and marketing of natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs). The Company’s operations also include the marketing of natural gas, oil and NGLs. All of its reserves and production are located in North America.

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