WEC Energy Group (WEC) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Sunday.

According to Zacks, “In the last 12 months, WEC Energy’s shares have outperformed the industry. Courtesy the improving economic condition, the company continues to witness an increase in customer volume. Its long-term investments in infrastructure projects will help to meet higher demand and improve service reliability. Strategic acquisitions are going to be accretive to WEC Energy’s performance. The company will benefit from the completion of the Modernization plan in 2021. Major chunk of its electricity production is generated from coal fired units and some coal units could attract emission regulation, making it uneconomical to maintain and operate. The Company’s dependence on financial performance of its subsidiaries to meet its obligation is a concern.”

WEC has been the topic of several other reports. Credit Suisse Group raised their price objective on WEC Energy Group from $69.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, November 1st. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price objective on WEC Energy Group from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Monday, September 17th. ValuEngine raised WEC Energy Group from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Monday, November 12th. Citigroup set a $66.00 price objective on WEC Energy Group and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday, October 3rd. Finally, Bank of America lowered WEC Energy Group from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, November 1st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. WEC Energy Group currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $71.36.

Shares of WEC opened at $68.65 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.51, a quick ratio of 0.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93. WEC Energy Group has a 12 month low of $58.48 and a 12 month high of $75.48. The company has a market capitalization of $21.54 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.86, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.43 and a beta of 0.10.

WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.03. WEC Energy Group had a return on equity of 11.18% and a net margin of 16.82%. The company had revenue of $1.64 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.66 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.68 earnings per share. WEC Energy Group’s quarterly revenue was down .8% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts anticipate that WEC Energy Group will post 3.33 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Chairman Gale E. Klappa sold 146,618 shares of WEC Energy Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.68, for a total value of $10,509,578.24. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Joseph Kevin Fletcher sold 72,455 shares of WEC Energy Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.65, for a total value of $5,118,945.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 319,073 shares of company stock worth $22,864,524 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.94% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of WEC. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 17.4% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 8,999,731 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $600,825,000 after acquiring an additional 1,336,719 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 24.2% in the third quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 3,873,402 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $258,588,000 after acquiring an additional 753,600 shares during the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale boosted its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 387.8% in the third quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 689,529 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $46,871,000 after acquiring an additional 548,176 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc boosted its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 1.5% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 34,749,404 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,319,871,000 after acquiring an additional 499,213 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 1.5% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 34,749,404 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,319,871,000 after acquiring an additional 499,213 shares during the last quarter. 72.66% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About WEC Energy Group

WEC Energy Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides regulated natural gas and electricity, and nonregulated renewable energy services in the United States. The company operates through six segments: Wisconsin, Illinois, Other States, Electric Transmission, Non-Utility Energy Infrastructure, and Corporate and Other.

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