Allete, Inc. (NYSE:ALE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

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. “

ALE has been the subject of several other reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Allete from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Williams Capital increased their price objective on shares of Allete from $75.00 to $78.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Allete from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $78.67.

Shares of Allete (NYSE ALE) traded up 0.93% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $78.81. 199,623 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm has a market cap of $4.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.19 and a beta of 0.48. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $77.68 and a 200 day moving average price of $73.01. Allete has a 52-week low of $56.48 and a 52-week high of $79.61.

Allete (NYSE:ALE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.72 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.17. The firm had revenue of $353.30 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $342.50 million. Allete had a net margin of 12.09% and a return on equity of 9.21%. Allete’s revenue was up 12.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.50 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Allete will post $3.38 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, Director Madeleine W. Ludlow sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.83, for a total value of $187,075.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 0.42% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Allete by 15,718.2% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,468,078 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $437,952,000 after purchasing an additional 6,427,188 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Allete by 93.8% during the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,447,846 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $103,782,000 after purchasing an additional 700,647 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Allete by 5.9% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,787,849 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $324,185,000 after purchasing an additional 265,592 shares during the period. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Allete during the 1st quarter worth approximately $13,892,000. Finally, Federated Investors Inc. PA grew its stake in shares of Allete by 271,658.0% during the 2nd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 187,513 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $13,442,000 after purchasing an additional 187,444 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 70.99% of the company’s stock.

About Allete

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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