Allete (ALE) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Allete (NYSE:ALE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Monday morning.

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. “

ALE has been the topic of a number of other reports. JPMorgan Chase restated an underweight rating and issued a $64.00 price objective (up from $60.00) on shares of Allete in a report on Friday, March 16th. Mizuho initiated coverage on shares of Allete in a report on Wednesday, February 28th. They issued a buy rating and a $71.50 price objective on the stock. Guggenheim restated a hold rating and issued a $63.00 price objective on shares of Allete in a report on Friday, February 23rd. Williams Capital upgraded shares of Allete from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $76.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Wells Fargo set a $71.00 price objective on shares of Allete and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, February 13th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Allete has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $72.93.

Shares of ALE opened at $74.00 on Monday. Allete has a twelve month low of $74.26 and a twelve month high of $75.14. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.81 billion, a PE ratio of 23.20, a PEG ratio of 3.35 and a beta of 0.30. The company has a current ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67.

Allete (NYSE:ALE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.99 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by $0.01. Allete had a net margin of 12.34% and a return on equity of 8.40%. The business had revenue of $358.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $355.00 million. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.97 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts expect that Allete will post 3.36 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, May 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.56 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, May 14th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.03%. Allete’s dividend payout ratio is currently 70.22%.

In related news, Director James J. Hoolihan sold 800 shares of Allete stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.16, for a total transaction of $60,128.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 15,684 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,178,809.44. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.42% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in ALE. Resources Investment Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Allete during the 4th quarter worth $111,000. Bruderman Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Allete during the 1st quarter worth $184,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in Allete by 48.4% during the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,675 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $199,000 after acquiring an additional 873 shares in the last quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in Allete by 96.7% during the 1st quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 2,886 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $209,000 after acquiring an additional 1,419 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Charter Research & Investment Group Inc. acquired a new stake in Allete during the 4th quarter worth $223,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.44% of the company’s stock.

Allete Company Profile

ALLETE, Inc operates as an energy company. The company operates through three segments: Regulated Operations, ALLETE Clean Energy, and U.S. Water Services. It generates electricity from coal-fired, natural gas-fired, biomass co-fired, hydroelectric, wind, solar, and other sources. The company provides regulated electric, natural gas, and water services in northwestern Wisconsin to approximately 15,000 electric customers, 13,000 natural gas customers, and 10,000 water customers, as well as regulated utility electric services in northeastern Minnesota to approximately 145,000 retail customers and 16 non-affiliated municipal customers.

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