Encana Corp (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) gapped down prior to trading on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $12.66, but opened at $12.64. Encana shares last traded at $12.64, with a volume of 10999702 shares trading hands.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on ECA. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Encana from $16.00 to $20.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Tudor Pickering cut Encana from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 10th. TD Securities reduced their price objective on Encana from $16.50 to $16.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, May 2nd. ValuEngine upgraded Encana from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 19th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group reduced their price objective on Encana from $17.25 to $14.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, April 13th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, twenty-two have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $15.46.

The stock has a market capitalization of $12.85 billion, a PE ratio of 29.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 2.01. The company has a quick ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 1.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62.

Encana (NYSE:ECA) (TSE:ECA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 1st. The oil and gas company reported $0.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.13 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $1.31 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.11 billion. Encana had a return on equity of 6.96% and a net margin of 12.24%. analysts expect that Encana Corp will post 0.6 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be given a $0.015 dividend. This represents a $0.06 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.47%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 14th. Encana’s payout ratio is 13.95%.

Encana declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 15th that allows the company to repurchase $400.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the oil and gas company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Encana news, Director Howard John Mayson acquired 2,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 1st. The stock was purchased at an average price of $10.53 per share, for a total transaction of $26,325.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 25,104 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $264,345.12. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders acquired 5,500 shares of company stock valued at $58,845 in the last quarter. 0.08% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ECA. Zweig DiMenna Associates LLC purchased a new position in Encana in the first quarter worth $111,000. M&T Bank Corp acquired a new stake in Encana in the first quarter valued at $134,000. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. acquired a new stake in Encana in the first quarter valued at $142,000. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC acquired a new stake in Encana in the fourth quarter valued at $143,000. Finally, Prospera Financial Services Inc acquired a new stake in Encana in the fourth quarter valued at $153,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 66.50% of the company’s stock.

About Encana

Encana Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development, production, and marketing of natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids. The company holds interests in various assets, including the Montney in northern British Columbia and northwest Alberta; Duvernay in west central Alberta; and other upstream operations comprising Wheatland in southern Alberta, Horn River in northeast British Columbia, and Deep Panuke located in offshore Nova Scotia in Canada.

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