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Continental Tumbles Most in 3 Months on Analyst Downgrade

Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Continental Resources Inc., the largest owner of drilling leases in the U.S. Bakken formation, fell the most in 3 months after Global Hunter Securities LLC said the stock probably won’t extend this year’s rally.

Continental declined 3.2 percent to $113.44 at the close in New York, the most since July 24. The stock climbed 60 percent this year before today, reaching a record closing price of $121 on Oct. 18.

A team of Global Hunter analysts that includes Curtis Trimble and Mike Kelly downgraded Oklahoma City-based Continental to neutral from buy today because the shares breached the firm’s $120 price target.

Despite the company’s “strong production growth trajectory,” the analysts decided to stop urging investors to accumulate shares “due to limited estimated upside,” according to a note distributed to clients.

Continental owns drilling rights to 1.2 million acres in the Bakken, which spreads beneath parts of North Dakota and Montana, more than any other oil explorer, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries. Continental Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Harold Hamm owns 68 percent of the outstanding shares.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Carroll in Chicago at jcarroll8@bloomberg.net

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

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