Scana Corp. (NYSE:SCG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage presently has a $81.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target points to a potential upside of 11.52% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “SCANA Corp. is a stable, relatively strong and regulated electric utility, supported by regional demographics and a favorable electric utility rate.  SCANA is well positioned in a positive regulatory environment, having a low risk business with outstanding customer growth and operational efficiency. The company also has an attractive and consistent dividend payout. Going forward, we expect modest growth to continue, thanks to the utility’s improving electric margins and rate increases. We are also bullish about the steady progress of new electric generation plants and nuclear expansion projects.  Consequently, we think SCANA offers substantial upside potential from the current price levels and view it as an attractive investment.”

SCG has been the topic of several other research reports. Williams Capital reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Scana Corp. in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Mizuho boosted their target price on shares of Scana Corp. from $74.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 14th. Finally, Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of Scana Corp. from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $67.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $71.58.

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Shares of Scana Corp. (NYSE:SCG) traded down 0.25% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $72.45. 212,531 shares of the company were exchanged. Scana Corp. has a 52-week low of $52.27 and a 52-week high of $76.41. The stock has a market capitalization of $10.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.61 and a beta of 0.22. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $72.06 and its 200 day moving average price is $70.95.

Scana Corp. (NYSE:SCG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.74. Scana Corp. had a net margin of 12.88% and a return on equity of 9.82%. The firm had revenue of $905 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $986.95 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.69 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Scana Corp. will post $3.97 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, October 1st. Investors of record on Monday, September 12th will be given a dividend of $0.575 per share. This represents a $2.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.17%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 8th. Scana Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 62.16%.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. GSA Capital Partners LLP acquired a new stake in shares of Scana Corp. during the second quarter worth $3,240,000. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. increased its stake in shares of Scana Corp. by 6.0% in the first quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. now owns 14,901 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,045,000 after buying an additional 837 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Scana Corp. by 7.1% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. now owns 217,198 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,236,000 after buying an additional 14,469 shares in the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Scana Corp. by 24.8% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 428,767 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,078,000 after buying an additional 85,087 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc increased its stake in shares of Scana Corp. by 12.0% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 33,217 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,330,000 after buying an additional 3,549 shares in the last quarter. 64.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Scana Corp. Company Profile

SCANA Corporation is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity, and the purchase, sale and transportation of natural gas in North Carolina and South Carolina. It operates through segments, including Electric Operations, Gas Distribution, Retail Gas Marketing, Energy Marketing and All Other.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SCG

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