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Crescent Point Energy Corp., which has 80 per cent of its revenue based in Saskatchewan, is attractive to some investors due to its low exposure in Alberta, but its acquisition strategy has kept others away.STAFF/Reuters

Investors in Saskatchewan-focused oil and gas producer Crescent Point Energy Corp. are betting that political uncertainty in Alberta will help give the stock a needed boost.

Shares of the Calgary-based company have fallen by about 33 per cent over the past year, dragged down by the drop in oil prices. The stock has slipped more than some of its industry peers, which analysts say may be due to investor concerns about Crescent Point's reputation as a "serial issuer of equity" and its "ambitious" acquisition strategy.

But Crescent Point is getting a lot of positive attention lately as energy investors look for more stable stocks outside of Alberta, especially if oil prices continue to rise as they have in recent weeks.

"If you're looking for an oil-weighted name of a certain market cap in Canada … there aren't a lot of options outside of Alberta," said AltaCorp Capital analyst Thomas Matthews.

He's one of 20 analysts with a "buy" on Crescent Point, while three say "hold," according to Thomson Reuters. The analyst consensus price target over the next year is $35.94, which is 22.5 per cent above where the stock is now trading, around $29.33.

Many analysts and fund managers have been reiterating their "buy" recommendations for Crescent Point since they say it was unfairly caught up in the recent Canadian energy sector selloff, following the surprise win of the left-leaning New Democratic Party in Alberta's provincial election on May 5.

Investors have been dumping oil and gas stocks with Alberta exposure amid fears the NDP will act on its campaign promises to raise corporate taxes, review royalties for the oil and gas industry and impose tougher environmental regulations, which could mean extra costs for energy companies.

About 7 per cent of Crescent Point's revenues are produced in Alberta, around 80 per cent in Saskatchewan and the rest in the United States, including Utah and North Dakota.

Mr. Matthews has a $35 target on the stock, seeing strong growth across its large and diversified inventory base. He also likes its rich dividend, yielding about 9 per cent, which is about double most of its peers.

Crescent Point is also a "serial issuer of equity," to fund its active acquisition strategy, said Mr. Matthews, which has kept some investors on the sidelines over the past couple of years.

In 2014, considered an active year for acquisitions, the company spent about $2.2-billion buying assets, mostly in Saskatchewan.

Dundee Capital Markets analyst Brian Kristjansen expects the company to keep making acquisitions, taking advantage of lower company valuations as oil prices remain depressed, while citing its "plentiful available credit capacity and relative cost of capital advantage."

Mr. Kristjansen has a $30.50 target price on the stock and recently reduced his rating to "neutral" (or "hold") from "buy," believing its current valuation is fair.

Crescent Point is a top energy holding at Toronto-based Leon Frazer and Associates, which has owned the stock for about five years. Portfolio manager Ryan Bushell likes the high dividend and the "ambitious" growth strategy and sees Crescent Point as a low-cost, diversified operator.

"My view is that if they grew a little bit slower it might be to their benefit, but that's where we have to trust the management team," Mr. Bushell said.

While Crescent Point has some advantages over other energy stocks today, not everyone is encouraging investors to dive in due to continued uncertainty with oil prices.

"I can see why people would recommend it, but it's more of a best of a bunch of dogs because nobody knows what is going to happen," said Peter Hodson, chief executive at 5i Research, a Kitchener, Ont.-based investment research firm that targets retail investors.