Spire 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 currently has a $84.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 12.53% from the company’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 topic of a number of other reports. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Spire from $73.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Friday, September 8th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $73.00 target price on shares of Spire in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $71.00 price target on shares of Spire in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $73.33.

Shares of Spire (SR) traded up 0.40% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $74.95. 31,655 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $75.95 and its 200 day moving average is $71.69. The firm has a market cap of $3.62 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.66 and a beta of 0.32. Spire has a one year low of $59.54 and a one year high of $78.00.

Spire (NYSE:SR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.39 by $0.05. Spire had a return on equity of 8.77% and a net margin of 9.12%. The company had revenue of $323.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $293.99 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.33 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 29.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Spire will post $3.57 earnings per share for the current year.

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A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of SR. Phocas Financial Corp. lifted its position in Spire by 4.7% during the 2nd quarter. Phocas Financial Corp. now owns 114,735 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $8,003,000 after acquiring an additional 5,181 shares during the period. Archford Capital Strategies LLC grew its stake in shares of Spire by 66.5% in the 2nd quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 1,807 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $168,000 after purchasing an additional 722 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its stake in shares of Spire by 11.2% in the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 2,070 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $144,000 after purchasing an additional 209 shares during the last quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Spire by 12.5% in the 2nd quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC now owns 53,995 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,766,000 after purchasing an additional 5,995 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Spire in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $728,000. 79.06% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Spire Company Profile

Spire Inc, formerly The Laclede Group, Inc, is engaged to transform its business and pursue growth by growing its gas utility business through prudent investment in infrastructure upgrades and organic growth initiatives; acquire and integrate gas utilities; modernize its gas assets, and invest in innovation.

Analyst Recommendations for Spire (NYSE:SR)

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