WEC Energy Group (WEC) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Saturday. The brokerage currently has a $73.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 14.73% from the company’s previous close.

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. The company has raised its annual dividend by 6.25%. Closure of old coal plants and timely completion of its ongoing capital projects will help WEC Energy to achieve its targeted emission reduction. 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.”

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on WEC. Bank of America upped their price target on shares of WEC Energy Group from $69.00 to $71.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. Credit Suisse Group started coverage on shares of WEC Energy Group in a report on Thursday, December 7th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $70.00 target price for the company. Guggenheim restated a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 target price on shares of WEC Energy Group in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of WEC Energy Group in a report on Friday, October 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.56.

WEC Energy Group (NYSE WEC) traded up $0.05 during trading on Friday, hitting $63.63. 1,266,874 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,499,076. The firm has a market capitalization of $20,064.30, a PE ratio of 20.93, a PEG ratio of 3.55 and a beta of 0.15. WEC Energy Group has a 12 month low of $56.05 and a 12 month high of $70.09. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.96, a current ratio of 0.60 and a quick ratio of 0.38.

WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.66 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.68 billion. WEC Energy Group had a net margin of 12.79% and a return on equity of 10.62%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.69 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that WEC Energy Group will post 3.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Chairman Gale E. Klappa sold 52,722 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.40, for a total transaction of $3,658,906.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Scott J. Lauber sold 1,240 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.00, for a total transaction of $86,800.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.97% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Cable Hill Partners LLC lifted its stake in WEC Energy Group by 3,307.8% in the third quarter. Cable Hill Partners LLC now owns 1,738 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $109,000 after acquiring an additional 1,687 shares during the last quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors acquired a new stake in WEC Energy Group in the second quarter valued at $132,000. Sun Life Financial INC lifted its stake in WEC Energy Group by 23,010.0% in the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 2,311 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $142,000 after acquiring an additional 2,301 shares during the last quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC lifted its stake in WEC Energy Group by 9.4% in the second quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,325 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $143,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BB&T Investment Services Inc. acquired a new stake in WEC Energy Group in the second quarter valued at $150,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.59% of the company’s stock.

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About WEC Energy Group

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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