The Laclede Group Inc. (NYSE:SR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $67.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price indicates a potential upside of 11.72% from the stock’s previous close.

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. “

SR has been the subject of a number of other reports. TheStreet upgraded shares of The Laclede Group from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Ladenburg Thalmann initiated coverage on shares of The Laclede Group in a report on Friday, August 19th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $69.00 target price for the company. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded shares of The Laclede Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The Laclede Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $64.60.

Analyst Recommendations for The Laclede Group (NYSE:SR)

Shares of The Laclede Group (NYSE:SR) opened at 59.97 on Wednesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $64.06 and a 200-day moving average of $66.06. The Laclede Group has a one year low of $54.33 and a one year high of $71.21. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.82 and a beta of 0.32.

The Laclede Group (NYSE:SR) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.27 by $0.06. The Laclede Group had a net margin of 9.55% and a return on equity of 8.84%. The firm earned $249.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $290.50 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.25 earnings per share. The Laclede Group’s revenue was down 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that The Laclede Group will post $3.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 4th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 12th were paid a dividend of $0.49 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 8th. This represents a $1.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.27%. The Laclede Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 61.25%.

The Laclede Group Company Profile

Spire Inc, formerly The Laclede Group, Inc is a public utility holding company for Laclede Gas Company (Laclede Gas or the Missouri Utilities). It operates through two segments: Gas Utility and Gas Marketing. The Gas Utility segment includes the regulated operations of Laclede Gas and Alabama Gas Corporation (Alagasco or the Alabama Utility) (collectively, the Utilities).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SR

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