American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has a $96.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 6.37% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “American Electric’s share price has outperformed the industry in the past year. Its strategy includes incremental investment in renewable generation projects throughout the United States. The company’s geographically-diversified operations allow it to avail transmission opportunities with better returns, compared with its single-state utility peers. It also makes incremental investments in renewable generation projects. Yet, American Electric is exposed to environmental risks, since its power plants produce large quantities of nitrogen, sulphur, mercury and carbon dioxide. It invested $8.5 billion between 2000 and 2016, and intends to invest $2.2-$2.8 billion in the 2017-2025 time period. Investments required to meet proposed environmental regulations for its Welsh Plant through 2025 can cost the company an additional $550 million.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on AEP. Wells Fargo & Co set a $95.00 target price on shares of Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, April 26th. UBS Group lifted their target price on shares of Zayo Group from $30.00 to $35.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 9th. Goldman Sachs Group reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $393.00 target price on shares of Boeing in a research report on Monday, April 8th. Bank of America reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $43.00 target price (up previously from $36.00) on shares of The Medicines in a research report on Tuesday. Finally, KeyCorp assumed coverage on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, June 4th. They issued a “sector weight” rating on the stock. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $83.93.

Shares of NYSE:AEP opened at $90.25 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $44.52 billion, a PE ratio of 22.85, a PEG ratio of 3.86 and a beta of 0.16. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $89.12. American Electric Power has a 52 week low of $68.13 and a 52 week high of $91.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a current ratio of 0.49.

American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The utilities provider reported $1.19 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.10 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $4.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.23 billion. American Electric Power had a net margin of 12.64% and a return on equity of 10.81%. The firm’s revenue was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.96 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that American Electric Power will post 4.15 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other American Electric Power news, insider Lisa M. Barton sold 1,752 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $89.41, for a total value of $156,646.32. Following the sale, the insider now owns 34,460 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,081,068.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Brian X. Tierney sold 4,392 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $86.02, for a total transaction of $377,799.84. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 39,449 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,393,402.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 24,637 shares of company stock worth $2,112,145. Insiders own 0.16% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in American Electric Power by 47.2% in the 1st quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 546 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $46,000 after acquiring an additional 175 shares during the last quarter. QUANTRES ASSET MANAGEMENT Ltd boosted its stake in shares of American Electric Power by 186.2% during the 1st quarter. QUANTRES ASSET MANAGEMENT Ltd now owns 8,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $695,000 after purchasing an additional 5,400 shares in the last quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC boosted its stake in shares of American Electric Power by 14.7% during the 1st quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 26,278 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,204,000 after purchasing an additional 3,377 shares in the last quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan boosted its stake in shares of American Electric Power by 0.7% during the 1st quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 142,181 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $11,908,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. bought a new stake in shares of American Electric Power during the 1st quarter valued at about $319,000. 73.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

American Electric Power Company Profile

American Electric Power Company, Inc, an electric public utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity for sale to retail and wholesale customers in the United States. The company generates electricity using coal and lignite, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, solar, wind, and other energy sources.

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