Windstream Holdings Inc (NYSE:WIN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $9.50 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target points to a potential upside of 13.64% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Windstream is well positioned for long-term growth based on its investments in fiber-to-the tower, broadband networks and proper cost management. Windstream’s new cloud-to-cloud disaster recovery management solutions replicates mission-critical virtual servers and data to provide an alternative system for cloud-based disaster recovery system to the customers. Also, it's recent plan to strengthen its fixed wireless networks services by upgrading it with millimeter wave radio technology bodes well with its expansion efforts. However, Windstream’s highly leveraged balance sheet, diminishing access lines, losses in the wholesale business and stringent regulatory measures are the near-term risks.”

WIN has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Cowen and Company started coverage on Windstream Holdings in a report on Thursday. They set a “market perform” rating and a $9.00 price target on the stock. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $10.00 price target on shares of Windstream Holdings in a report on Tuesday, July 5th. Jefferies Group reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Windstream Holdings in a report on Sunday, July 17th. Finally, Raymond James Financial Inc. reissued an “underperform” rating on shares of Windstream Holdings in a report on Friday, August 5th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $8.63.

Windstream Holdings (NYSE:WIN) opened at 8.36 on Thursday. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $9.21 and its 200-day moving average price is $8.81. Windstream Holdings has a one year low of $4.75 and a one year high of $10.46. The firm’s market cap is $804.77 million.

Windstream Holdings (NYSE:WIN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.01 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.35) by $0.36. The firm had revenue of $1.36 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.37 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted ($1.13) EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Windstream Holdings will post $0.41 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 30th will be issued a $0.15 dividend. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.18%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 28th.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Windstream Holdings by 4.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 10,902,527 shares of the company’s stock worth $101,066,000 after buying an additional 478,583 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Windstream Holdings by 28.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 5,529,408 shares of the company’s stock worth $51,258,000 after buying an additional 1,237,004 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in shares of Windstream Holdings by 19.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 3,295,579 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,550,000 after buying an additional 532,353 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in shares of Windstream Holdings by 40.6% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,385,541 shares of the company’s stock worth $22,114,000 after buying an additional 688,770 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of Windstream Holdings by 8.5% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,688,148 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,650,000 after buying an additional 132,599 shares in the last quarter.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:WIN

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