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Will Ecopetrol (EC) Gain on Rising Earnings Estimates?

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Ecopetrol (EC - Free Report) appears an attractive pick given a noticeable improvement in the company's earnings outlook. The stock has been a strong performer lately, and the momentum might continue with analysts still raising their earnings estimates for the company.

The upward trend in estimate revisions for this oil and natural gas exploration company reflects growing optimism of analysts on its earnings prospects, which should get reflected in its stock price. After all, empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements. This insight is at the core of our stock rating tool -- the Zacks Rank.

The five-grade Zacks Rank system, which ranges from a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record of outperformance, with Zacks #1 Ranked stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 2008.

For Ecopetrol, strong agreement among the covering analysts in revising earnings estimates upward has resulted in meaningful improvement in consensus estimates for the next quarter and full year.

The chart below shows the evolution of forward 12-month Zacks Consensus EPS estimate:

12 Month EPS

Current-Quarter Estimate Revisions

The company is expected to earn $0.62 per share for the current quarter, which represents a year-over-year change of +463.64%.

Over the last 30 days, one estimate has moved higher for Ecopetrol while one has gone lower. As a result, the Zacks Consensus Estimate has increased 6.96%.

Current-Year Estimate Revisions

The company is expected to earn $1.90 per share for the full year, which represents a change of +578.57% from the prior-year number.

In terms of estimate revisions, the trend for the current year also appears quite encouraging for Ecopetrol. Over the past month, one estimate has moved higher compared to one negative revision, helping the consensus estimate increase 5.75%.

Favorable Zacks Rank

Thanks to promising estimate revisions, Ecopetrol currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The Zacks Rank is a tried-and-tested rating tool that helps investors effectively harness the power of earnings estimate revisions and make the right investment decision. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Our research shows that stocks with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and 2 (Buy) significantly outperform the S&P 500.

Bottom Line

Investors have been betting on Ecopetrol because of its solid estimate revisions, as evident from the stock's 5.2% gain over the past four weeks. As its earnings growth prospects might push the stock higher, you may consider adding it to your portfolio right away.


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