Ameren Corp (NYSE:AEE)’s share price rose 5.4% during trading on Friday after the company announced a dividend. The stock traded as high as $55.72 and last traded at $55.42. Approximately 4,554,020 shares were traded during mid-day trading, an increase of 147% from the average daily volume of 1,840,762 shares. The stock had previously closed at $52.59.

The newly announced dividend which will be paid on Thursday, March 29th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 14th will be paid a $0.4575 dividend. This represents a $1.83 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.30%. Ameren’s payout ratio is 72.62%.

AEE has been the subject of several recent research reports. Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of Ameren in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $62.00 price objective for the company. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Ameren from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $61.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ameren from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, January 15th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Ameren from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, December 4th. Finally, KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ameren in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Ameren currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $57.80.

The company has a current ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92. The firm has a market cap of $13,450.00, a P/E ratio of 21.99, a P/E/G ratio of 2.46 and a beta of 0.28.

In other news, SVP Gregory L. Nelson sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.68, for a total value of $752,160.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 36,785 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,305,683.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.38% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of AEE. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans raised its holdings in Ameren by 1.7% in the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 9,559 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $523,000 after acquiring an additional 159 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its holdings in Ameren by 0.4% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 212,312 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $11,608,000 after acquiring an additional 919 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in Ameren by 1.4% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 564,373 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $30,855,000 after acquiring an additional 7,577 shares in the last quarter. Numeric Investors LLC raised its holdings in Ameren by 83.7% in the second quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 9,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $492,000 after acquiring an additional 4,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in Ameren by 4.1% in the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 21,074 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,152,000 after acquiring an additional 835 shares in the last quarter. 70.76% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Ameren

Ameren Corporation is a utility holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois and Ameren Transmission Company (ATXI). It operates through four segments. The Ameren Missouri segment includes all of the operations of Ameren Missouri. The Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution segment consists of the electric distribution business of Ameren Illinois.

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