ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $74.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “ALLETE is an energy company. In addition to its electric utilities, Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power of Wisconsin, ALLETE owns ALLETE Clean Energy, based in Duluth, U.S. Water Services headquartered in St. Michael, Minn., BNI Energy in Center, N.D., and has an eight percent equity interest in the American Transmission Co. “

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on ALE. Mizuho raised their price target on shares of ALLETE from $62.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, December 10th. TheStreet raised shares of ALLETE from a c+ rating to a b rating in a research report on Thursday, January 6th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, ALLETE presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $69.25.

ALE opened at $65.85 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.32, a P/E/G ratio of 2.85 and a beta of 0.57. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $64.02 and its 200-day moving average is $65.33. ALLETE has a 52-week low of $56.84 and a 52-week high of $73.10. The company has a quick ratio of 0.29, a current ratio of 0.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58.

ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by ($0.18). ALLETE had a net margin of 11.52% and a return on equity of 5.44%. The firm had revenue of $345.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $300.20 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.78 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 17.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that ALLETE will post 3.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 15th were issued a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.83%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 12th. ALLETE’s dividend payout ratio is presently 85.42%.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in ALLETE by 11.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,122,323 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $498,418,000 after purchasing an additional 720,267 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in ALLETE by 2.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,335,907 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $373,407,000 after purchasing an additional 113,724 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its holdings in ALLETE by 0.4% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,828,738 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $127,975,000 after purchasing an additional 7,839 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in ALLETE by 10.2% in the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,423,023 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $84,699,000 after purchasing an additional 131,423 shares during the period. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its holdings in ALLETE by 0.6% in the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,195,437 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $71,152,000 after purchasing an additional 6,767 shares during the period. 72.00% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

ALLETE Company Profile

ALLETE, Inc engages in the provision of electric and natural gas utility services. It operates through the following business segments: Regulated Operations, ALLETE Clean Energy, and U.S. Water Services. The Regulated Operations segment includes regulated utilities; Minnesota Power; SWL&P; and investment in ATC, which regulates utilities that owns and maintains electric transmission assets.

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