Ameren Corporation (AEE) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ameren Corporation (NYSE:AEE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Ameren Corp. follows a systematic investment strategy, primarily for growth projects and infrastructure upgrade, which enables it to provide reliable services to customers, besides meeting increasing demand. The company’s strong financial position enables it to take such strong investment initiatives. Ameren Corp. has outperformed the industry it belongs to, in the last one year. It also has a handful of projects in the pipeline that are expected to boost its growth trajectory. However, the company's aging infrastructure may pose risks to system reliability and force it to incur unplanned capital expenditures and operating costs. Also its stock is overvalued compared to its historical levels in terms of EV/EBITDA ratio.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. BidaskClub raised Ameren Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Barclays PLC lowered Ameren Corporation from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and decreased their price objective for the stock from $60.00 to $58.00 in a report on Thursday, May 25th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an equal weight rating on shares of Ameren Corporation in a research note on Friday. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) lowered Ameren Corporation from a neutral rating to a sell rating and set a $51.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, June 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Ameren Corporation presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $55.20.

Shares of Ameren Corporation (NYSE AEE) opened at 60.91 on Monday. Ameren Corporation has a 52-week low of $46.84 and a 52-week high of $60.91. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $58.54 and its 200 day moving average price is $56.06. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.32 and a beta of 0.37.

Ameren Corporation (NYSE:AEE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, August 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.10. Ameren Corporation had a return on equity of 9.57% and a net margin of 11.11%. The company had revenue of $1.54 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.42 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.61 EPS. Ameren Corporation’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Ameren Corporation will post $2.80 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Investors of record on Wednesday, September 13th will be paid a $0.44 dividend. This represents a $1.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.89%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 12th. Ameren Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is 61.54%.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Griffin Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in Ameren Corporation in the 2nd quarter valued at $683,000. Gs Investments Inc. bought a new position in Ameren Corporation in the 2nd quarter valued at $409,000. Achmea Investment Management B.V. bought a new position in Ameren Corporation in the 2nd quarter valued at $226,000. USA Financial Portformulas Corp bought a new position in Ameren Corporation in the 2nd quarter valued at $2,828,000. Finally, Sentry Investment Management LLC raised its position in Ameren Corporation by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 19,094 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,044,000 after purchasing an additional 199 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.82% of the company’s stock.

About Ameren Corporation

Ameren Corporation is a utility holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois and Ameren Transmission Company (ATXI). It operates through four segments. The Ameren Missouri segment includes all of the operations of Ameren Missouri. The Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution segment consists of the electric distribution business of Ameren Illinois.

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