Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Imperial Oil Ltd (NYSEMKT:IMO) (TSE:IMO) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Imperial Oil is Canada’s largest integrated petroleum company. Its operations, conducted under the Esso banner, are concentrated in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, refining and marketing petroleum products, and in the manufacture and sale of petrochemicals. The company has approximately 7,500 employees in two operating divisions. “

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) lowered Imperial Oil from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 5th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. upgraded Imperial Oil from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 12th. TheStreet lowered Imperial Oil from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 14th. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a hold rating and issued a $45.00 price objective on shares of Imperial Oil in a research report on Saturday, March 11th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Imperial Oil from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Imperial Oil has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $44.78.

Analyst Recommendations for Imperial Oil (NYSEMKT:IMO)

Shares of Imperial Oil (IMO) traded down 2.53% during trading on Monday, hitting $28.95. The stock had a trading volume of 36,094 shares. The firm has a market cap of $24.54 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.59 and a beta of 1.14. Imperial Oil has a 52-week low of $27.59 and a 52-week high of $36.85. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $28.72 and its 200 day moving average is $31.53.

Imperial Oil (NYSEMKT:IMO) (TSE:IMO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, April 28th. The energy company reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $5.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.14 billion. Imperial Oil had a net margin of 4.76% and a return on equity of 5.31%. During the same quarter last year, the company earned ($0.12) earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Imperial Oil will post $1.56 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, July 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.1185 per share. This is a positive change from Imperial Oil’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. This represents a $0.47 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.60%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 31st. Imperial Oil’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 170.37%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Bank of Nova Scotia raised its position in Imperial Oil by 19.6% in the first quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 751,204 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $22,890,000 after buying an additional 122,899 shares in the last quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co purchased a new position in Imperial Oil during the first quarter valued at approximately $578,000. Gotham Asset Management LLC raised its position in Imperial Oil by 821.7% in the first quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 92,468 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $2,820,000 after buying an additional 82,436 shares in the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE raised its position in Imperial Oil by 367.3% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 184,342 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $5,622,000 after buying an additional 144,897 shares in the last quarter. Finally, King Luther Capital Management Corp raised its position in Imperial Oil by 4.7% in the first quarter. King Luther Capital Management Corp now owns 39,800 shares of the energy company’s stock valued at $1,214,000 after buying an additional 1,800 shares in the last quarter.

Imperial Oil Company Profile

Imperial Oil Limited is an integrated oil company. The Company is engaged in all the phases of the petroleum industry in Canada, including exploration for, and production and sale of, crude oil and natural gas. Its operations are conducted in three segments: Upstream, Downstream and Chemical. The Upstream operations include the exploration for, and production of, crude oil, natural gas, synthetic oil and bitumen.

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