WEC Energy Group Inc. (WEC) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research
WEC Energy Group Inc. (NYSE:WEC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $65.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 11.49% from the stock’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “WEC Energy Group’s investments in infrastructure projects will help it to meet increasing customer demand and improve service reliability. WEC Energy Group’s decision to acquire Integrys has been fruitful, adding nearly $620 million to the company’s top line in the second quarter. The company carries strong investment-grade credit ratings, which allows it to enjoy superior credit worthiness in the market. The utility has been consistently hiking dividends every year and aims for a payout ratio of 65-70%. However, coal still being the primary source of power for WEC Energy, installation of low-emission infrastructure at its generation systems to meet regulatory compliance increases the cost of operations. Further, the company is subject to operational risks associated with the breakdown or failure of equipment or processes due to fuel supply or transportation disruptions. “
Separately, Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 target price (up previously from $65.00) on shares of WEC Energy Group in a research note on Tuesday, August 2nd. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. WEC Energy Group has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $59.00.
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WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) traded down 0.09% on Wednesday, reaching $58.25. 747,346 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $18.38 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.80 and a beta of 0.08. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $59.78 and its 200-day moving average is $60.98. WEC Energy Group has a 1-year low of $47.98 and a 1-year high of $66.10.
WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.01. WEC Energy Group had a net margin of 12.13% and a return on equity of 10.52%. The business had revenue of $1.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.03 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.58 earnings per share. WEC Energy Group’s quarterly revenue was up 61.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that WEC Energy Group will post $2.93 EPS for the current year.
In other WEC Energy Group news, VP Susan H. Martin sold 40,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.05, for a total transaction of $2,602,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Robert M. Garvin sold 19,225 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.62, for a total transaction of $1,184,644.50. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 27,710 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,707,490.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.81% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. UBS Group AG boosted its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 1.9% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 289,891 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,414,000 after buying an additional 5,459 shares in the last quarter. ING Groep NV acquired a new stake in shares of WEC Energy Group during the first quarter worth approximately $433,000. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 20.0% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 1,066,942 shares of the company’s stock worth $64,091,000 after buying an additional 177,978 shares in the last quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. boosted its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 1.0% in the first quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. now owns 21,325 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,281,000 after buying an additional 221 shares in the last quarter. Finally, CIBC World Markets Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of WEC Energy Group during the second quarter worth approximately $3,176,000. 70.65% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About WEC Energy Group
WEC Energy Group, Inc, formerly Wisconsin Energy Corporation, is a holding company, which has electric and natural gas utility operations. The Company’s segments are Wisconsin, Illinois, other states, electric transmission, We Power, and corporate and other. The Company’s Wisconsin segment includes the electric and natural gas utility, and non-utility operations of Wisconsin Electric Power Company (Wisconsin Electric), Wisconsin Gas LLC (Wisconsin Gas) and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS), including Wisconsin Electric’s electric and WPS’s electric and natural gas operations in the state of Michigan.
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