Zacks Investment Research Upgrades WEC Energy Group, Inc. (WEC) to Hold
WEC Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE:WEC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of WEC Energy have outperformed the industry in the last twelve months. Thanks to ongoing improvement in economic conditions in its service territories, WEC Energy at present is serving more customers than the year-ago level. Also, more than 99% of its earnings come from regulated operations, which provided excellent visibility on its future performance. WEC Energy Group’s investments in infrastructure projects will help it to meet increasing customer demand and improve service reliability. However, in first-half 2017 electricity delivered to residential customers and large commercial and industrial customers declined from the year-ago period. Regulatory compliance and any delay in the completion of ongoing capital projects could increase expenses and reduce profitability.”
Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of WEC Energy Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services upped their price objective on shares of WEC Energy Group from $62.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, June 9th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $58.00 price objective (down from $59.00) on shares of WEC Energy Group in a report on Monday, June 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. WEC Energy Group has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $62.86.
WEC Energy Group (WEC) opened at 65.26 on Monday. WEC Energy Group has a 52-week low of $53.66 and a 52-week high of $65.71. The firm has a market cap of $20.59 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.40 and a beta of 0.11. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $63.25 and its 200-day moving average is $61.46.
WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $1.63 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.58 billion. WEC Energy Group had a net margin of 12.72% and a return on equity of 10.75%. The company’s revenue was up 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.57 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that WEC Energy Group will post $3.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.
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In related news, VP Scott J. Lauber sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total value of $97,500.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Gale E. Klappa sold 100,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.42, for a total transaction of $6,474,210.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 177,190 shares of company stock worth $11,445,484 over the last ninety days. 0.97% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in WEC. North Star Investment Management Corp. increased its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 14.0% in the first quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. now owns 5,949 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $361,000 after buying an additional 732 shares in the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD increased its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 10.6% in the first quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD now owns 26,190 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,587,000 after buying an additional 2,511 shares in the last quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 66.8% in the first quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,167 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $373,000 after buying an additional 2,470 shares in the last quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp increased its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 0.8% in the first quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp now owns 2,822 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $171,000 after buying an additional 22 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Reilly Herbert Faulkner III increased its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 0.7% in the first quarter. Reilly Herbert Faulkner III now owns 72,925 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,421,000 after buying an additional 502 shares in the last quarter. 70.76% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
WEC Energy Group Company Profile
WEC Energy Group, Inc was a diversified holding company with natural gas and electric utility operations, an approximately 60% equity ownership interest in American Transmission Company LLC, and non-utility electric operations through its We Power business, as of December 31, 2016. Its segments include Wisconsin; Illinois; Other States; Electric Transmission; We Power, and Corporate and Other.
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