ConocoPhillips Cut to a “Hold” at Jefferies Ahead of Spinoff of Downstream Operations (COP)

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Integrated oil company ConocoPhillips ( COP ) on Thursday caught a big downgrade from analysts at Jefferies & Co.

The firm said it cut its rating on COP from "Buy" to "Hold" while lowering its price target from $85 to $75. That new target suggests a smaller 4% upside to the stock's Wednesday closing price of $72.01.

A Jefferies analyst commented, "The forthcoming spinout of the downstream business is being completed during a tough period for this industry, whilst the upstream company may not compare well to its higher-growth peers in its new sub-sector. Although COP should continue its long-term upstream margin improvement, we think it's time to take a pause for breath with the stock in 2012."

ConocoPhillips shares fell 60 cents, or -0.8%, in premarket trading Thursday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of ConocoPhillips ( COP ) have a 3.67% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $72.01. The stock has technical support in the $66-$70 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $75-$77 price levels.

ConocoPhillips ( COP ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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