Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (NYSE:PCG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Cost of compliance to new and stringent regulations remains a major concern for PG&E Corporation. Moreover, penalties worth $1.6 billion levied for the 2010 San Bruno case and changes in environmental mandates could impact the company’s financial performance. Further, the operation and decommissioning of the utility’s nuclear power plants expose it to potentially significant liabilities. On a brighter note, PG&E Corporation’s systematic investments in infrastructure projects, backed by a stable financial position, will allow it to improve service reliability and meet increasing customer demand. The company’s stable financial position allows it to pay regular dividends, which in turn, help it to retain investor interest.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Jefferies Group cut their price objective on Pacific Gas & Electric Co. from $71.50 to $70.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, August 29th. Deutsche Bank AG cut their price objective on Pacific Gas & Electric Co. from $68.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 price objective (up from $74.00) on shares of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in a research note on Monday, July 25th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, Mizuho upped their price target on Pacific Gas & Electric Co. from $64.00 to $67.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $65.75.

Analyst Recommendations for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (NYSE:PCG)

Shares of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (NYSE:PCG) opened at 59.31 on Thursday. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $61.72 and its 200-day moving average price is $61.48. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has a 52 week low of $50.65 and a 52 week high of $65.43. The company has a market capitalization of $29.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.05 and a beta of 0.22.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (NYSE:PCG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.66 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.26. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. had a return on equity of 8.27% and a net margin of 4.51%. The firm had revenue of $4.17 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.59 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.91 earnings per share. Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s quarterly revenue was down 1.1% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will post $3.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 30th will be paid a dividend of $0.49 per share. This represents a $1.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.30%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 28th. Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 128.11%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Bessemer Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. by 40.6% in the first quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 3,445 shares of the company’s stock valued at $206,000 after buying an additional 995 shares during the last quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. by 1.3% in the second quarter. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 3,547 shares of the company’s stock valued at $227,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the last quarter. Williams Jones & Associates LLC bought a new stake in shares of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. during the second quarter valued at about $278,000. Parametrica Management Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. during the second quarter valued at about $361,000. Finally, Wealthsource Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. during the first quarter valued at about $375,000. Institutional investors own 79.33% of the company’s stock.

About Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

PG&E Corporation is a holding company. The Company’s primary operating subsidiary is Pacific Gas and Electric Company (the Utility). The Utility’s operations include sale and delivery of electricity and natural gas to customers. The Utility generates electricity and provides electricity transmission and distribution services throughout its service territory in northern and central California to residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural customers.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:PCG

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