Enerplus Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (ERF)

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Enerplus Corp (NYSE:ERF) (TSE:ERF) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Investors purchased 1,015 call options on the company. This is an increase of 783% compared to the average volume of 115 call options.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of ERF. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Enerplus during the fourth quarter worth $26,268,000. Two Sigma Investments LP raised its position in shares of Enerplus by 136.1% in the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP now owns 2,109,948 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $16,427,000 after buying an additional 1,216,122 shares during the last quarter. AGF Investments Inc. raised its position in shares of Enerplus by 2,280.8% in the third quarter. AGF Investments Inc. now owns 1,130,861 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $13,964,000 after buying an additional 1,083,361 shares during the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can raised its position in shares of Enerplus by 267.7% in the third quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 1,434,377 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $17,716,000 after buying an additional 1,044,233 shares during the last quarter. Finally, TD Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Enerplus by 23.7% in the fourth quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,701,332 shares of the oil and natural gas company’s stock valued at $36,556,000 after buying an additional 902,108 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 56.18% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:ERF opened at $8.18 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.78, a current ratio of 1.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32. The firm has a market cap of $2.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.50 and a beta of 1.64. Enerplus has a fifty-two week low of $6.84 and a fifty-two week high of $13.87.

Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) (TSE:ERF) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 22nd. The oil and natural gas company reported $0.32 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.28 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $247.23 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $248.00 million. Enerplus had a net margin of 32.58% and a return on equity of 12.78%. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.06 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Enerplus will post 0.98 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a monthly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 28th were given a dividend of $0.008 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, February 27th. This is a boost from Enerplus’s previous monthly dividend of $0.01. This represents a $0.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.17%. Enerplus’s dividend payout ratio is currently 8.26%.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on ERF. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Enerplus from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday. TheStreet raised shares of Enerplus from a “d+” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Monday, February 25th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Enerplus from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Thursday, January 24th. Capital One Financial cut shares of Enerplus from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 20th. Finally, Raymond James restated a “buy” rating on shares of Enerplus in a research report on Thursday, December 13th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. Enerplus currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $18.17.

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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. Its crude oil properties are located in the Fort Berthold region of North Dakota and the Elm Coulee field in Richland County, Montana; and crude oil Waterfloods in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada.

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