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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of ConocoPhillips (COP) - Get ConocoPhillips Report  were increasing in mid-morning trading on Monday as JPMorgan upped its stock rating to "overweight" from "neutral."  

The firm also hiked its price target on the oil and natural gas exploration and production company to $51 from $44. 

ConocoPhillips' dividend growth potential through 2020 is significantly greater than its peers at 8.3% vs. 7.2%, JPMorgan said. 

"...We now believe that valuation is compelling, with the potential to 'walk and chew gum' (pay down debt and buy back stock," the firm added in an analyst note. 

An upside could boost the Houston-based company's stock to as much as $60 per share. 

Additionally, the firm noted that the company could initiate new share buyback or asset sale programs in the coming months. 

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Separately, 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. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

TheStreet Ratings team rates ConocoPhillips as a Sell with a ratings score of D+. This is driven by some concerns, which it believes should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks it covers. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

You can view the full analysis from the report here:


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