WEC Energy Group Inc. (NYSE:WEC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $65.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 11.49% from the company’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “WEC Energy Group’s investments in infrastructure projects will help it to meet increasing customer demand and improve service reliability. WEC Energy Group’s decision to acquire Integrys has been fruitful, adding nearly $620 million to the company’s top line in the second quarter. The company carries strong investment-grade credit ratings, which allows it to enjoy superior credit worthiness in the market. The utility has been consistently hiking dividends every year and aims for a payout ratio of 65-70%. However, coal still being the primary source of power for WEC Energy, installation of low-emission infrastructure at its generation systems to meet regulatory compliance increases the cost of operations. Further, the company is subject to operational risks associated with the breakdown or failure of equipment or processes due to fuel supply or transportation disruptions. “
Separately, Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 target price (up from $65.00) on shares of WEC Energy Group in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $59.00.
Shares of WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) traded down 0.17% on Wednesday, reaching $58.20. The company had a trading volume of 717,710 shares. WEC Energy Group has a 52-week low of $47.98 and a 52-week high of $66.10. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $59.78 and a 200 day moving average price of $60.98. The stock has a market capitalization of $18.37 billion, a PE ratio of 20.78 and a beta of 0.08.
WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.56 by $0.01. The firm earned $1.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.03 billion. WEC Energy Group had a return on equity of 10.52% and a net margin of 12.13%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 61.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.58 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that WEC Energy Group will post $2.93 earnings per share for the current year.
In other WEC Energy Group news, VP Susan H. Martin sold 40,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.05, for a total transaction of $2,602,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert M. Garvin sold 19,225 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.62, for a total transaction of $1,184,644.50. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 27,710 shares in the company, valued at $1,707,490.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.81% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 146.6% in the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 2,520,135 shares of the company’s stock valued at $164,566,000 after buying an additional 1,498,283 shares during the period. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC purchased a new stake in shares of WEC Energy Group during the second quarter valued at about $88,867,000. Janus Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 103.9% in the second quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 2,327,643 shares of the company’s stock valued at $151,995,000 after buying an additional 1,185,850 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 7.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 15,271,745 shares of the company’s stock valued at $917,370,000 after buying an additional 1,042,287 shares during the period. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 45.6% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 2,802,251 shares of the company’s stock valued at $184,902,000 after buying an additional 877,776 shares during the period. 70.65% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
About WEC Energy Group
WEC Energy Group, Inc, formerly Wisconsin Energy Corporation, is a holding company, which has electric and natural gas utility operations. The Company’s segments are Wisconsin, Illinois, other states, electric transmission, We Power, and corporate and other. The Company’s Wisconsin segment includes the electric and natural gas utility, and non-utility operations of Wisconsin Electric Power Company (Wisconsin Electric), Wisconsin Gas LLC (Wisconsin Gas) and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS), including Wisconsin Electric’s electric and WPS’s electric and natural gas operations in the state of Michigan.
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