Allete, Inc. (NYSE:ALE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $81.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 12.05% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “ALLETE is an energy company. In addition to its electric utilities, Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power of Wisconsin, ALLETE owns ALLETE Clean Energy, based in Duluth, U.S. Water Services headquartered in St. Michael, Minn., BNI Energy in Center, N.D., and has an eight percent equity interest in the American Transmission Co. “

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services upped their price target on Allete from $71.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 9th. BidaskClub cut Allete from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, Williams Capital upped their price target on Allete from $75.00 to $78.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, June 19th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Allete currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $75.38.

Shares of Allete (NYSE ALE) traded up 0.42% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $72.29. 155,173 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $72.32 and a 200-day moving average of $68.69. The company has a market cap of $3.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.42 and a beta of 0.48. Allete has a one year low of $56.48 and a one year high of $74.59.

Allete (NYSE:ALE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.97 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.03. Allete had a return on equity of 8.78% and a net margin of 11.55%. The business had revenue of $365.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $338 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.93 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Allete will post $3.46 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, insider Steven Q. Devinck sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.67, for a total transaction of $139,340.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 0.42% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Amalgamated Bank raised its position in shares of Allete by 0.8% in the first quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 6,318 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $428,000 after buying an additional 49 shares in the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan raised its position in shares of Allete by 0.5% in the first quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 11,270 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $763,000 after buying an additional 60 shares in the last quarter. World Asset Management Inc raised its position in shares of Allete by 2.7% in the first quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 3,203 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $217,000 after buying an additional 84 shares in the last quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Allete by 5.6% in the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,890 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $135,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System raised its position in shares of Allete by 0.6% in the first quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 20,399 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,381,000 after buying an additional 130 shares in the last quarter. 72.32% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Allete Company Profile

ALLETE, Inc is an energy company. The Company’s segments include Regulated Operations, ALLETE Clean Energy, Inc (ALLETE Clean Energy), U.S. Water Services Holding Company (U.S. Water Services), and Corporate and Other. The Regulated Operations segment includes its regulated utilities, Minnesota Power, and Superior Water, Light and Power Company, and its investment in American Transmission Company LLC.

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