Ameren (AEE) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research
Ameren (NYSE:AEE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Ameren Corp. is investing heavily to upgrade its aging infrastructure. As of Sep 30, 2017, the company invested $1 billion in its FERC rate-regulated electric transmission and Illinois electric and natural gas distribution businesses. A stable financial position enables Ameren to maximize shareholder value through the payment of regular dividends and repurchase of shares. The company outperformed the broader industry in last 12 months. However, Ameren Corp's aging infrastructure may pose risks to system reliability and force it to incur unplanned capital expenditures and operating costs. Stringent environmental regulations and operational risks might be potential growth deterrents. Also its stock is overvalued compared to its historical levels in terms of EV/EBITDA ratio.”
Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Ameren from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ameren in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of Ameren in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $62.00 price target for the company. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Ameren from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $61.00 target price for the company. in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $56.80.
Ameren (NYSE:AEE) last posted its earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.31 by ($0.07). The company had revenue of $1.72 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.87 billion. Ameren had a net margin of 10.03% and a return on equity of 8.61%. Ameren’s revenue was down 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.52 EPS. research analysts anticipate that Ameren will post 2.8 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, SVP Gregory L. Nelson sold 12,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.68, for a total transaction of $752,160.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 36,785 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,305,683.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.38% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Ameren by 1.0% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 25,785,464 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,409,691,000 after purchasing an additional 248,010 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Ameren by 2.2% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 16,134,996 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $882,101,000 after purchasing an additional 344,141 shares during the last quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. lifted its position in shares of Ameren by 1.3% during the second quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 5,209,589 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $284,808,000 after purchasing an additional 67,494 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its position in shares of Ameren by 12.9% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 4,478,768 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $259,053,000 after purchasing an additional 511,854 shares during the last quarter. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. lifted its position in shares of Ameren by 463.6% during the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 3,462,798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $200,288,000 after purchasing an additional 2,848,400 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 70.49% of the company’s stock.
Ameren Corporation is a utility holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois and Ameren Transmission Company (ATXI). It operates through four segments. The Ameren Missouri segment includes all of the operations of Ameren Missouri. The Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution segment consists of the electric distribution business of Ameren Illinois.
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