WEC Energy Group (WEC) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “In a year’s time WEC Energy’s shares have outperformed its industry. WEC Energy at present is serving more customers than the year-ago level. Its long-term investments in infrastructure projects will help it meet increasing customer demand and improve service reliability. Completion of its ongoing capital projects will help WEC Energy to achieve its targeted emission reduction. Acquisition of Bluewater Natural Gas Holding is going to be accretive to WEC Energy’s performance. However, unfavorable weather conditions and government regulations are headwinds. A major chunk of its electricity production is generated from coal fired units and some coal units could attract emission regulation, making it uneconomical to maintain and operate.”

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A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on WEC. Guggenheim reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $73.00 price objective on shares of WEC Energy Group in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Wells Fargo decreased their target price on shares of WEC Energy Group from $73.00 to $71.00 and set a market perform rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, February 1st. UBS began coverage on shares of WEC Energy Group in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a neutral rating and a $65.00 target price for the company. Citigroup began coverage on shares of WEC Energy Group in a research report on Friday, April 13th. They issued a neutral rating and a $61.00 target price for the company. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $63.00 target price (down previously from $65.00) on shares of WEC Energy Group in a research report on Friday, February 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $65.90.

WEC stock opened at $63.02 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a current ratio of 0.57. WEC Energy Group has a fifty-two week low of $58.92 and a fifty-two week high of $70.09. The stock has a market capitalization of $19,431.23, a P/E ratio of 20.07, a PEG ratio of 4.42 and a beta of 0.07.

WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.71 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.03. WEC Energy Group had a net margin of 15.75% and a return on equity of 10.81%. The business had revenue of $2.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.94 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.61 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that WEC Energy Group will post 3.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Barbara L. Bowles sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.19, for a total value of $120,380.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.94% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Rockland Trust Co. boosted its position in shares of WEC Energy Group by 7.8% during the 4th quarter. Rockland Trust Co. now owns 11,957 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $794,000 after purchasing an additional 869 shares in the last quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. boosted its position in shares of WEC Energy Group by 0.9% during the 4th quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. now owns 97,653 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,487,000 after purchasing an additional 896 shares in the last quarter. BB&T Securities LLC boosted its position in shares of WEC Energy Group by 4.4% during the 4th quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 21,425 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,423,000 after purchasing an additional 908 shares in the last quarter. Cognios Capital LLC boosted its position in shares of WEC Energy Group by 30.8% during the 4th quarter. Cognios Capital LLC now owns 4,215 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $280,000 after purchasing an additional 993 shares in the last quarter. Finally, New Mexico Educational Retirement Board boosted its position in shares of WEC Energy Group by 3.4% during the 4th quarter. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board now owns 30,303 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,013,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.96% of the company’s stock.

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About WEC Energy Group

WEC Energy Group, Inc was a diversified holding company with natural gas and electric utility operations, an approximately 60% equity ownership interest in American Transmission Company LLC, and non-utility electric operations through its We Power business, as of December 31, 2016. Its segments include Wisconsin; Illinois; Other States; Electric Transmission; We Power, and Corporate and Other.

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