Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Saturday morning. They currently have $74.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Shares of WEC Energy have outperformed the industry in the last 12 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. Its long-term investments in infrastructure projects will help it meet increasing customer demand and improve service reliability. However, in first nine months of 2017, electricity delivered to residential customers and large commercial and industrial customers declined from the year-ago period due to less favorable weather. Regulatory compliance and any delay in the completion of ongoing capital projects could increase expenses and reduce profitability.”
WEC has been the topic of a number of other reports. KeyCorp reiterated a hold rating on shares of WEC Energy Group in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Guggenheim restated a buy rating and issued a $73.00 price objective on shares of WEC Energy Group in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on WEC Energy Group in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. They issued a neutral rating and a $70.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Bank of America began coverage on WEC Energy Group in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. They issued a neutral rating and a $67.00 price objective on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $66.67.
WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) traded up $0.56 during trading on Friday, hitting $65.43. The company had a trading volume of 1,979,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,731,700. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.38 and a current ratio of 0.60. WEC Energy Group has a 12-month low of $56.05 and a 12-month high of $70.09. The stock has a market capitalization of $20,470.00, a P/E ratio of 21.52, a PEG ratio of 3.63 and a beta of 0.15.
WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $1.66 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.68 billion. WEC Energy Group had a return on equity of 10.62% and a net margin of 12.79%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.69 earnings per share. research analysts expect that WEC Energy Group will post 3.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 14th will be paid a $0.5525 dividend. This is a positive change from WEC Energy Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.52. This represents a $2.21 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.38%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 13th. WEC Energy Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 68.42%.
In other news, VP Scott J. Lauber sold 1,240 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.00, for a total value of $86,800.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Gale E. Klappa sold 52,722 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.40, for a total value of $3,658,906.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.97% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Eaton Vance Management boosted its holdings in WEC Energy Group by 0.5% in the second quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 12,090 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $742,000 after purchasing an additional 65 shares during the last quarter. South Texas Money Management Ltd. boosted its holdings in WEC Energy Group by 0.4% in the second quarter. South Texas Money Management Ltd. now owns 19,937 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,224,000 after purchasing an additional 80 shares during the last quarter. Veritable L.P. boosted its holdings in WEC Energy Group by 1.8% in the second quarter. Veritable L.P. now owns 11,417 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $701,000 after purchasing an additional 199 shares during the last quarter. Carret Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in WEC Energy Group by 3.4% during the 2nd quarter. Carret Asset Management LLC now owns 6,100 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $374,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Evercore Wealth Management LLC lifted its holdings in WEC Energy Group by 9.4% during the 2nd quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,325 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $143,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. 72.59% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
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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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