Encana (ECA) Stock Rises Today on Increased 2015 Spending Plan, Oil Price Recovery

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of energy company Encana  (ECA) rose 4.89% to $13.09 in late morning trading Wednesday after the company said Tuesday it plans to increase spending in 2015.

The company said it would increase spending to a range of $2.7 billion to $2.9 billion in 2015 from a range of $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion in 2014. Encana made the announcement despite decreasing its outlook for oil prices and cash flow. 

Recovering oil prices also helped the stock Wednesday. Brent crude hit an intraday low of $58.71 a barrel on London's ICE Futures exchange, according to the Wall Street Journal. But Brent rallied to 0.98% to $60.60 at 11:42 a.m., according to CNBC.

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Oil prices have plummeted nearly 50% since the summer amid a global oversupply. Oil producers are continuing to increase production despite the supply glut and weakening demand.

The American Petroleum Institute published data late Tuesday that indicated a surprise 1.9 million barrel rise in weekly U.S. oil stockpiles. The U.S. Energy Information Administration is scheduled to publish stockpile data on Wednesday.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates ENCANA CORP as a "buy" with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ENCANA CORP (ECA) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, 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 robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • ECA's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 64.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.69, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. When compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ENCANA CORP's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ENCANA CORP is rather high; currently it is at 54.00%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 122.84% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: ECA Ratings Report

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