Fortis Inc. (NYSE:FTS) saw a large decrease in short interest in the month of April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 1,960,000 shares, a decrease of 16.2% from the March 31st total of 2,340,000 shares. Approximately 0.4% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 405,100 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.8 days.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Toronto Dominion Bank raised its stake in shares of Fortis by 31.1% in the 4th quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 11,085,675 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $475,317,000 after purchasing an additional 2,630,929 shares during the period. Scotia Capital Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Fortis by 8.0% in the 4th quarter. Scotia Capital Inc. now owns 5,600,098 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $228,596,000 after acquiring an additional 417,181 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Fortis in the 4th quarter valued at about $191,047,000. Guardian Capital LP grew its holdings in shares of Fortis by 28.2% in the 4th quarter. Guardian Capital LP now owns 2,488,970 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $101,591,000 after acquiring an additional 546,823 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp grew its holdings in shares of Fortis by 17.4% in the 4th quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 2,146,623 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $87,686,000 after acquiring an additional 317,782 shares in the last quarter. 47.82% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of FTS traded down $0.26 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $44.48. The stock had a trading volume of 399,034 shares, compared to its average volume of 402,696. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $43.65 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $41.44. Fortis has a twelve month low of $35.53 and a twelve month high of $44.96. The firm has a market cap of $20.88 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.49, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.06 and a beta of 0.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.61.

Fortis (NYSE:FTS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 11th. The utilities provider reported $0.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.17. Fortis had a return on equity of 6.00% and a net margin of 13.88%. The firm had revenue of $1.80 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.40 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.62 EPS. Analysts forecast that Fortis will post 1.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 17th will be paid a $0.3962 dividend. This is an increase from Fortis’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 14th. This represents a $1.58 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.56%. Fortis’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 80.21%.

FTS has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. National Bank Financial cut their price target on Fortis and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, January 27th. Scotiabank cut their price target on Fortis from $63.00 to $61.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, January 27th. Raymond James reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on shares of Fortis in a research note on Tuesday. Royal Bank of Canada dropped their price objective on Fortis from $60.00 to $59.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, February 16th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Fortis from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $58.25.

About Fortis

Fortis Inc operates as an electric and gas utility company in Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean countries. It generates, transmits, and distributes electricity to approximately 433,000 retail customers in southeastern Arizona; and 98,000 retail customers in Arizona's Mohave and Santa Cruz counties with an aggregate capacity of 3,233 megawatts (MW), including 59 MW of solar capacity.

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