ERF - Enerplus Corp - Shares in North American independent energy company, Enerplus Corp, are up more than 5.0% on Monday to stand at $15.84 as of 11:45 a.m. ET. The operator of oil and gas properties in Canada and the U.S. was upgraded to 'Outperform' from 'Market Perform' at Raymond James today. Options activity on Enerplus this morning indicates at least one strategist is positioning for shares in the name to rally to the highest level since October of 2012 during the next couple of months. The July $17 strike calls have traded around 1,100 times as of midday in New York versus previously existing open interest of 50 contracts. It looks like most of the volume was purchased at the start of the session for a premium of $0.10 each. The bullish position makes money if shares in Enerplus climb 8.0% to top $17.10 by July expiration. Shares in the energy company have increased 35% during the past six months.
UPDATE: BMO Capital Markets Raises PT on Enerplus Following Good Q1/13 Results
11:16a ET May 13, 2013 (Benzinga)
In a report published Monday, BMO Capital Markets analyst Gordon Tait reiterated a Market Perform rating on Enerplus Corp. (NYSE: ERF), and slightly raised the price target from $15.00 to $16.00.
In the report, Tait noted, “Enerplus reported Q1/13 results a little ahead of expectations. First quarter production averaged 87,183 boe/d, 4% ahead of our forecast of 83,490 boe/d. The better-than-anticipated production was primarily as a result of higher volumes from the Marcellus. However, the overall production mix was gassier than expected. Q1 CFPS totaled $0.87, on par with both our estimate and the consensus of $0.87. Management is maintaining its 2013 production guidance at 82-85,000 boe/d with an exit rate of 84-88,000 boe/d (despite an asset disposition of 600 boe/d subsequent to Q1). The full year capital budget is unchanged at $675 million.”