Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (BIP) Lowered to “Strong Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE:BIP) (TSE:BIP.UN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “BROOKFIELD INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERS L.P. was established by Brookfield Asset Management as its primary vehicle to own and operate certain infrastructure assets on a global basis. Brookfield Infrastructure operates high quality, long-life assets that generate stable cash flows, require relatively minimal maintenance capital expenditures and, by virtue of barriers to entry and other characteristics, tend to appreciate in value over time. Its current business consists of the ownership and operation of premier electricity transmission systems and timberlands in North and South America, and it seeks acquisition opportunities in other infrastructure sectors with similar attributes. “

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Scotiabank set a $46.75 target price on shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $44.00 target price on shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners in a report on Wednesday, December 27th. National Bank Financial raised their target price on shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, November 6th. Royal Bank of Canada raised their target price on shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners from $45.00 to $47.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, November 6th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $47.00 target price on shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $47.23.

Shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE BIP) traded up $0.26 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $40.90. 349,573 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 403,457. The company has a quick ratio of 0.23, a current ratio of 0.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. Brookfield Infrastructure Partners has a 1 year low of $35.30 and a 1 year high of $46.88. The company has a market capitalization of $15,740.00, a PE ratio of 1,022.50, a P/E/G ratio of 0.99 and a beta of 0.94.

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, November 7th that permits the company to repurchase 13,820,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the utilities provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. TD Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners by 13.6% in the third quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 9,884,891 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $425,408,000 after purchasing an additional 1,183,668 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners by 5.3% during the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 8,751,437 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $377,532,000 after acquiring an additional 437,693 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners by 2.9% during the third quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 6,843,911 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $295,246,000 after acquiring an additional 194,390 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its stake in shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners by 73.4% during the fourth quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 3,727,514 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $167,030,000 after acquiring an additional 1,577,649 shares during the period. Finally, First Manhattan Co. increased its stake in shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners by 6.7% during the fourth quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 1,749,112 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $78,377,000 after acquiring an additional 109,627 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 45.81% of the company’s stock.

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Brookfield Infrastructure Partners Company Profile

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. owns and operates utilities, transport, energy and communications infrastructure businesses in North and South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. The Company’s segments include utilities, transport, energy, communications infrastructure and other. The utilities segment consists of regulated businesses, including regulated distribution (electricity and natural gas connections), electricity transmission and a regulated terminal (coal export terminal).

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