Otter Tail (OTTR) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Otter Tail (NASDAQ:OTTR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “OTTER TAIL’s primary business is the production, transmission, distribution and sale of electric energy. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is also engaged in other businesses which are referred to as Health Services Operations and Diversified Operations. “

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on OTTR. BidaskClub lowered Otter Tail from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. KeyCorp restated a hold rating on shares of Otter Tail in a report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Sidoti lowered Otter Tail from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $46.00 target price for the company. in a report on Monday, January 8th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have issued a hold rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $44.67.

Shares of Otter Tail (OTTR) opened at $42.05 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,663.37, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.10 and a beta of 0.71. Otter Tail has a twelve month low of $35.65 and a twelve month high of $48.65.

Otter Tail (NASDAQ:OTTR) last posted its earnings results on Monday, February 12th. The utilities provider reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.44 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $206.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $207.30 million. Otter Tail had a return on equity of 10.77% and a net margin of 8.53%. Otter Tail’s revenue was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.44 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Otter Tail will post 1.9 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, March 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.335 per share. This represents a $1.34 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.19%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 14th. This is a positive change from Otter Tail’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. Otter Tail’s dividend payout ratio is currently 73.63%.

In other news, CFO Kevin G. Moug sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.55, for a total transaction of $60,825.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Otter Tail during the 4th quarter valued at $839,000. LPL Financial LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Otter Tail by 152.8% during the 4th quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 25,103 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,116,000 after purchasing an additional 15,172 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Otter Tail by 72.2% during the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 290,465 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $12,911,000 after purchasing an additional 121,745 shares during the last quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Otter Tail by 97.1% during the 4th quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 14,295 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $635,000 after purchasing an additional 7,042 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Otter Tail by 2.2% during the 4th quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 333,423 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $14,821,000 after purchasing an additional 7,184 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 41.13% of the company’s stock.

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About Otter Tail

Otter Tail Corporation is a holding company. The Company operates through three segments: Electric, Manufacturing and Plastics. The Electric segment includes the production, transmission, distribution and sale of electric energy in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota by Otter Tail Power Company (OTP).

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