NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- ConocoPhillips (COP) - Get Report stock plunged on Monday, closing lower by 9.21% to $34.20 on heavy trading volume, after analysts warned that the oil and gas company could cut its dividend.
"We believe there is a slightly more than 50% probability COP will cut its dividend over the next couple of quarters," Barclays said in an analyst note. "We also believe that COP should act when it reports 4Q15 results in early February and that it should cut the dividend by at least 75%."
Shares of ConocoPhillips would decline shortly after any dividend reduction, but in the long-term the stock could outperform its peers.
"[W]e believe a significant dividend cut would dramatically improve the company's long-term competitive position as COP would become one of the sector's lowest breakeven cost producers," analysts added.
ConocoPhillips would also be protecting its credit rating by reducing its dividend, which is one of the "most generous" in the industry, analysts noted.
By the end of the trading day, 19.42 million shares of ConocoPhillips had exchanged hands, compared with its average daily volume of 10.15 million shares.
Separately, ConocoPhillips has a "hold" rating and a letter grade of C- at TheStreet Ratings because of the company's solid financial position, feeble earnings per share growth, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: COP
TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.