Will This Price Target Increase Help ConocoPhillips (COP) Stock Today?

Story updated at 9:50 a.m. to reflect market activity.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- BMO Capital Markets raised its price target for ConocoPhillips (COP) to $80 from $70 Wednesday, reiterating its "market perform" rating.

Shares of ConocoPhillips gained 0.4% to $80.19 in morning trading.

The analyst firm also increased its EPS estimates for the company through 2016. ConocoPhillips is improving upstream margins according to BMO analysts Iain Reid and Nikolas Stefanou.

"We have modelled COP's cash generation by region in order to test its ability to grow its upstream margins at its target of 3-5% CAGR to 2017," the analysts wrote. "Although our analysis gives a lower outcome of 2-3% growth, there is upside if COP can grow its Lower 48 unconventional volumes faster than we model, which is possible given its successful development program, as resources have already been substantially increased."

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CONOCOPHILLIPS as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CONOCOPHILLIPS (COP) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

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