Encana Rises After Signaling Possible Asset Sales: Calgary Mover

Encana Corp. (ECA), Canada’s largest natural gas producer, rose the most in three months after signaling potential asset sales in a strategy update.

Encana gained as much as 4.9 percent, the steepest intraday increase since May 20, and was up 4.1 percent at C$18.66 at 11:57 a.m. in Toronto.

“Encana has more inventory in its portfolio of plays, particularly dry natural gas, than can be optimally developed,” the Calgary-based company said today in a statement.

The company focused on developing oil and petroleum liquids after North American gas prices fell to a decade-low last year. Chief Executive Officer Doug Suttles will give an update on the company’s new strategy at a conference in New York today, according to today’s statement.

“A press release wakes people up” to Encana’s restructuring to become a larger producer of higher-priced liquids, Dirk Lever, an analyst at Altacorp Capital Inc. in Calgary, said in a phone interview today. “It’s under-owned by institutions and it doesn’t take much to move this stock.”

Greg Pardy, an analyst with Royal Bank of Canada, changed his recommendation on Encana to the equivalent of a buy today. Encana is ahead of its target to change its strategy by the end of the year, Pardy said in a note to clients. The stock has eight buy, 12 hold and six sell recommendations from analysts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rebecca Penty in Calgary at rpenty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net

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