Northeast Utilities Rating Reiterated by Zacks (NU)

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Northeast Utilities (NYSE:NU)‘s stock had its “neutral” rating restated by Zacks in a report issued on Wednesday, American Banking News.com reports. They currently have a $46.00 target price on the stock. Zacks‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 5.14% from the stock’s previous close.

Zacks’ analyst wrote, “In fourth-quarter and full-year 2013, Northeast Utilities’ earnings per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, the bottom line increased from the prior-year figure primarily on the back of higher operating revenues. On the revenue front, both quarterly as well as the annual figure increased year over year. Fourth-quarter revenues surged mainly due to an improvement in retail natural gas and electricity distribution volumes. The NSTAR-merger continues to boost the company’s performance. We appreciate the company’s steady effort towards expansion of its operations on the back of strong cash generation ability. However, stringent regulations, volatility in fuel prices and over-dependence on transmission and distribution businesses will continue to cast a shadow on the stock. Thus, we maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock.”

Shares of Northeast Utilities (NYSE:NU) traded up 0.57% on Wednesday, hitting $43.75. The stock had a trading volume of 1,772,879 shares. Northeast Utilities has a one year low of $39.35 and a one year high of $45.66. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $43.72 and a 200-day moving average of $42.20. The company has a market cap of $13.800 billion and a P/E ratio of 17.57.

Northeast Utilities (NYSE:NU) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 6th. The company reported $0.56 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $1.78 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.65 million. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Northeast Utilities will post $2.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Monday, March 31st. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.3925 per share. This represents a $1.57 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 27th. This is a boost from Northeast Utilities’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37.

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at Ned Davis Research upgraded shares of Northeast Utilities from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 18th. Separately, analysts at Morgan Stanley reiterated an “equal weight” rating on shares of Northeast Utilities in a research note on Friday, February 7th. They now have a $43.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $42.00. Finally, analysts at Deutsche Bank reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Northeast Utilities in a research note on Monday, February 3rd. They now have a $43.50 price target on the stock, down previously from $44.00. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.27.

Northeast Utilities (NYSE:NU) is a public utility holding company.

To view Zacks’ full report, visit Zacks’ official website.

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