Ameren Corp. Downgraded to “Equal Weight” at Barclays (AEE)
Ameren Corp. (NYSE:AEE) was downgraded by research analysts at Barclays from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a report released on Tuesday, Analyst Ratings Net reports. They currently have a $41.00 price objective on the stock, up from their previous price objective of $38.00. Barclays’ price target points to a potential upside of 0.24% from the stock’s previous close.
The analysts wrote, “We are lowering our rating to Equal Weight from Overweight following outperformance year-to-date (+6.3% versus the XLU) and the last 6 months (+12.8%). We believe AEE’s premium multiple to Regulateds is justified, but we forecast little upside potential to our new $41 target ($38 previously). Our new target reflects a 6% big cap utility premium of the 2015 average P/E of 15.0x versus 14.0x previously and an increase in our EPS estimate to $2.60 from $2.57. On the 2/21 earnings call AEE gave guidance of 7-10% EPS growth and $2.25-$2.45 for 2014, which was ahead of expectations. “It is supported by 6% ratebase growth including 28% from transmission through 2018. We like AEE’s business mix and commitment to dividend growth. The EPS guidance for 2014 was $2.25-$2.45 and implied at $2.40-$2.65 for 2015. We are fine-tuning our EPS estimates to $2.33 for 2014 and $2.60 for 2015 from $2.29/$2.57, respectively.”
Ameren Corp. (NYSE:AEE) traded down 1.00% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $40.49. The stock had a trading volume of 2,362,482 shares. Ameren Corp. has a one year low of $32.34 and a one year high of $42.24. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $37.38 and its 200-day moving average is $35.76. The company has a market cap of $9.823 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.43.
Ameren Corp. (NYSE:AEE) last announced its earnings results on Friday, February 21st. The company reported $0.19 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.12 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $1.32 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.34 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.14 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Ameren Corp. will post $2.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Monday, March 31st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 12th will be given a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.91%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, March 10th.
Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at UBS AG raised their price target on shares of Ameren Corp. from $36.00 to $39.00 in a research note on Monday. They now have a “neutral” rating on the stock. Analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. upgraded shares of Ameren Corp. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, January 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $37.86.
Ameren Corporation (NYSE:AEE) utility holding company.
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