Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) (TSE:CNQ) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Traders bought 14,957 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,044% compared to the typical daily volume of 1,307 call options.

A number of research firms have recently commented on CNQ. AltaCorp Capital reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Canadian Natural Resources in a report on Monday, January 15th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Canadian Natural Resources from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $42.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of Canadian Natural Resources from $52.00 to $58.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Wells Fargo cut shares of Canadian Natural Resources from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. Finally, UBS began coverage on shares of Canadian Natural Resources in a report on Wednesday, March 7th. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Canadian Natural Resources presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $44.17.

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NYSE:CNQ opened at $34.63 on Tuesday. Canadian Natural Resources has a 52 week low of $27.52 and a 52 week high of $37.63. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65, a quick ratio of 0.64 and a current ratio of 0.78. The company has a market cap of $43,065.94, a PE ratio of 41.72, a PEG ratio of 3.21 and a beta of 1.32.

Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) (TSE:CNQ) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, March 1st. The oil and gas producer reported $368.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.30 by $368.22. Canadian Natural Resources had a net margin of 14.29% and a return on equity of 4.21%. The company had revenue of $3.95 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.56 billion. equities analysts predict that Canadian Natural Resources will post 1.99 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Canadian Natural Resources announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Wednesday, March 14th that authorizes the company to repurchase 61,300,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the oil and gas producer to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Sunday, April 1st. Investors of record on Friday, March 16th were issued a $0.261 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 15th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.01%. This is a boost from Canadian Natural Resources’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. Canadian Natural Resources’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 125.30%.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of CNQ. Stifel Financial Corp boosted its holdings in Canadian Natural Resources by 11.3% in the third quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 39,280 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $1,314,000 after purchasing an additional 3,974 shares during the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Canadian Natural Resources by 6.7% in the third quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 38,488 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $1,290,000 after purchasing an additional 2,407 shares during the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC boosted its holdings in Canadian Natural Resources by 1,129.0% in the third quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 6,145 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $206,000 after purchasing an additional 5,645 shares during the last quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. boosted its holdings in Canadian Natural Resources by 65.7% in the third quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 6,835 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $228,000 after purchasing an additional 2,710 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC boosted its holdings in Canadian Natural Resources by 4.0% in the third quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 832,571 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $27,883,000 after purchasing an additional 32,203 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 60.30% of the company’s stock.

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Canadian Natural Resources Company Profile

Canadian Natural Resources Limited explores for, develops, produces, and markets crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs). The company offers light and medium crude oil, primary heavy crude oil, Pelican Lake heavy crude oil, bitumen, and synthetic crude oil (SCO). Its midstream assets include two crude oil pipeline systems; and a 50% working interest in an 84-megawatt cogeneration plant at Primrose.

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