Spire (NYSE:SR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Spire Inc. is a public utility company which is engaged in the purchase, retail distribution, sale and marketing of natural gas. Its operating segment consists of Gas Utility and Gas Marketing. Gas Utility segment includes the regulated operations of Laclede Gas and Alabama Gas Corporation. Gas Marketing segment is engaged in the marketing of natural gas and related activities on a non-regulated basis. Spire Inc, formerly known as The Laclede Group Inc., is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. “

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on SR. ValuEngine lowered shares of Spire from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Stifel Nicolaus raised their price target on shares of Spire from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 16th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Spire from $75.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $73.00 price target on shares of Spire in a research note on Monday, October 16th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on shares of Spire from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and five have issued a hold rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $75.33.

Spire (SR) traded down $0.30 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $71.70. 229,818 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 211,625. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a current ratio of 0.66. The stock has a market cap of $3,503.80, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.37, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.90 and a beta of 0.30. Spire has a 52-week low of $62.33 and a 52-week high of $82.85.

Spire (NYSE:SR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 15th. The utilities provider reported ($0.22) EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.26) by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $258.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $271.65 million. Spire had a net margin of 9.28% and a return on equity of 8.71%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted ($0.32) EPS. analysts expect that Spire will post 3.72 earnings per share for the current year.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in Spire by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 4,078 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $284,000 after buying an additional 69 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its holdings in Spire by 8.6% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,825 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 144 shares during the period. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp boosted its holdings in Spire by 3.5% in the 2nd quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp now owns 5,709 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $398,000 after buying an additional 193 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its holdings in Spire by 11.2% in the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 2,070 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $144,000 after buying an additional 209 shares during the period. Finally, Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. boosted its holdings in Spire by 7.4% in the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 4,147 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $289,000 after buying an additional 284 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 79.79% of the company’s stock.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY WARNING: “Spire (SR) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research” was first reported by American Banking News and is the sole property of of American Banking News. If you are reading this article on another site, it was illegally copied and reposted in violation of U.S. and international copyright and trademark legislation. The correct version of this article can be viewed at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2018/01/05/spire-sr-downgraded-by-zacks-investment-research.html.

Spire Company Profile

Spire Inc, formerly The Laclede Group, Inc, is engaged to transform its business and pursue growth by growing its gas utility business through prudent investment in infrastructure upgrades and organic growth initiatives; acquire and integrate gas utilities; modernize its gas assets, and invest in innovation.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Spire (SR)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Spire (NYSE:SR)

Receive News & Ratings for Spire Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Spire and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.