Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Scana Corporation (NYSE:SCG) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “SCANA is well positioned in a positive regulatory environment, having a low risk business with outstanding customer growth and operational efficiency. The company also has an attractive and consistent dividend payout. This is noteworthy amidst the macro risks wherein most oil giants are cutting their dividends. However, SCANA Corp.’s price chart shows that it has lagged the industry over the last three months.  Westinghouse Electric Co., which is presently constructing a nuclear plant for SCANA, has filed for bankruptcy. Although Westinghouse is anticipated to finish the construction of nuclear reactors, SCANA might face delays and a significant increase in cost. Thus, the future earnings growth of the company looks uncertain.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on SCG. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Scana Corporation from $58.00 to $59.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Scana Corporation from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Mizuho restated an underperform rating and issued a $59.50 price objective (up previously from $57.00) on shares of Scana Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Barclays PLC upgraded shares of Scana Corporation from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and raised their price objective for the company from $65.00 to $73.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Finally, Gabelli downgraded shares of Scana Corporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Scana Corporation presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $70.31.

Shares of Scana Corporation (NYSE SCG) traded up 0.45% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $59.23. The company had a trading volume of 795,713 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.98 and a beta of 0.27. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $62.16 and its 200 day moving average is $65.82. Scana Corporation has a 52-week low of $58.55 and a 52-week high of $75.92.

Scana Corporation (NYSE:SCG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $1 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $931.67 million. Scana Corporation had a net margin of 13.99% and a return on equity of 10.50%. The firm’s revenue was up 10.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.74 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Scana Corporation will post $4.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, October 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 11th will be paid a dividend of $0.6125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 8th. This represents a $2.45 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.14%. Scana Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 57.68%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Federated Investors Inc. PA increased its stake in shares of Scana Corporation by 264,341.0% during the 2nd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 161,309 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $10,809,000 after purchasing an additional 161,248 shares in the last quarter. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd increased its stake in shares of Scana Corporation by 331.7% during the 1st quarter. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd now owns 18,260 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,193,000 after purchasing an additional 14,030 shares in the last quarter. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp purchased a new position in shares of Scana Corporation during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $2,767,000. OppenheimerFunds Inc. increased its stake in shares of Scana Corporation by 20.8% during the 1st quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 7,837 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $512,000 after purchasing an additional 1,349 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. increased its stake in shares of Scana Corporation by 15.8% during the 2nd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 368,051 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $24,663,000 after purchasing an additional 50,286 shares in the last quarter. 66.70% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Scana Corporation

SCANA Corporation is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity in South Carolina. The Company operates through segments, including Electric Operations, Gas Distribution, Gas Marketing and All Other. The Company is engaged in the purchase, transmission and sale of natural gas in North Carolina and South Carolina.

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