ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) Lifted to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

Separately, ValuEngine raised ALLETE from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Monday, May 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $81.08.

ALE stock opened at $84.41 on Monday. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $85.66 and a 200 day moving average price of $82.69. ALLETE has a fifty-two week low of $72.42 and a fifty-two week high of $88.58. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.11, a P/E/G ratio of 3.24 and a beta of 0.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68, a current ratio of 1.34 and a quick ratio of 1.08.

ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.66. ALLETE had a return on equity of 9.14% and a net margin of 13.61%. The firm had revenue of $290.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $349.00 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.61 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 15.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that ALLETE will post 3.63 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, September 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, August 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.5875 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 14th. This represents a $2.35 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.78%. ALLETE’s dividend payout ratio is 65.10%.

In other news, CEO Alan R. Hodnik sold 4,000 shares of ALLETE stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.74, for a total value of $338,960.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Kathryn W. Dindo sold 735 shares of ALLETE stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $82.03, for a total value of $60,292.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 14,735 shares of company stock valued at $1,238,752 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.43% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its stake in shares of ALLETE by 1.9% in the 1st quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 20,526 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,688,000 after buying an additional 390 shares during the period. WP Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of ALLETE in the 1st quarter valued at $36,000. First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of ALLETE by 11.9% in the 2nd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 423,870 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $35,270,000 after buying an additional 45,205 shares during the period. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its stake in shares of ALLETE by 0.4% in the 1st quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 200,678 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $16,502,000 after buying an additional 835 shares during the period. Finally, Cetera Advisor Networks LLC increased its stake in shares of ALLETE by 6.1% in the 1st quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 8,413 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $691,000 after buying an additional 485 shares during the period. 71.78% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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, wind, hydroelectric, natural gas-fired, biomass co-fired, solar, and other sources. The company provides regulated utility 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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