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American Electric Power Company (NYSE:AEP) was upgraded by Zacks from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $66.00 price target on the stock. Zacks‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 19.54% from the stock’s previous close.

Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are upgrading our recommendation on American Electric Power Company, Inc. to Outperform from Neutral based on the company’s regulated business mix, its increasing focus on transmission as a growth driver and planned capital spending program. Earnings in the first quarter of 2014 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 26.4% and improved 43.8% year over year supported by favorable weather and high power prices. To comply with the Obama climate plan, American Electric is increasing its gas capacity as opposed to coal. Moreover, the company will benefit from attractive growth opportunities in the shale rich regions of Texas and Ohio. “

Shares of American Electric Power Company (NYSE:AEP) traded down 1.88% on Wednesday, hitting $54.17. The stock had a trading volume of 2,730,753 shares. American Electric Power Company has a 52-week low of $41.83 and a 52-week high of $55.94. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $53.32 and its 200-day moving average is $50.39. The company has a market cap of $26.439 billion and a P/E ratio of 16.04.

American Electric Power Company (NYSE:AEP) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, April 25th. The company reported $1.15 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.27. The company had revenue of $4.60 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.04 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.80 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 21.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that American Electric Power Company will post $3.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at Jefferies Group raised their price target on shares of American Electric Power Company from $55.00 to $56.00 in a research note on Thursday, June 19th. Separately, analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. reiterated a “positive” rating on shares of American Electric Power Company in a research note on Tuesday, May 27th. Finally, analysts at Ned Davis Research upgraded shares of American Electric Power Company from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, May 12th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $54.77.

American Electric Power Company, Inc (NYSE:AEP) is a utility holding company that owns, directly or indirectly, all of the outstanding common stock of its public utility subsidiaries and varying percentages of other subsidiaries.

To view Zacks’ full report, visit Zacks’ official website.

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