Ameren (AEE) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Ameren (NYSE:AEE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Ameren Corp., over the long term, it expects to spend up to $13.3 billion on supporting overall system reliability, environmental compliance and infrastructural upgrades. In renewables, Ameren plans to offer electricity through cleaner and more diverse sources of energy generation. It also expects expects a potential investment of $1 billion in Ameren Missouri’s wind generation projects, which is expected to generate production tax credits for the company, beginning in 2020. Such investment strategy should boost Ameren’s future growth prospects. Its shares also increased in past one year. However, its aging infrastructure might pose risks to system reliability and force it to incur unplanned capital expenditures, escalating its operating costs, in turn. Its generation and delivery facilities are also subject to risks associated with breakdown or failure of equipment or processes due to fuel supply or transportation disruptions.”

AEE has been the subject of several other research reports. ValuEngine upgraded Ameren from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, November 12th. Wells Fargo & Co increased their target price on Ameren from $73.00 to $77.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, February 11th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Ameren from $66.00 to $69.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 12th. UBS Group downgraded Ameren from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $71.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Thursday, November 29th. Finally, Barclays set a $67.00 target price on Ameren and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, November 17th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $68.13.

Shares of AEE traded down $0.10 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $70.97. 20,440 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,429,045. The company has a market cap of $17.36 billion, a PE ratio of 21.06, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.22 and a beta of 0.31. Ameren has a 52 week low of $53.08 and a 52 week high of $72.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.39 and a current ratio of 0.57.

Ameren (NYSE:AEE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The utilities provider reported $0.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.32 by ($0.04). Ameren had a return on equity of 10.87% and a net margin of 12.95%. The company had revenue of $1.42 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.56 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.39 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts predict that Ameren will post 3.3 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Ameren news, CEO Warner L. Baxter sold 41,090 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.77, for a total value of $2,907,939.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 364,913 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $25,824,893.01. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CAO Bruce A. Steinke sold 6,441 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.84, for a total value of $456,280.44. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 48,883 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,462,871.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 94,873 shares of company stock valued at $6,717,571. Insiders own 0.44% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. V Wealth Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Ameren by 4.7% in the 4th quarter. V Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 3,330 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $216,000 after acquiring an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. HCR Wealth Advisors raised its holdings in shares of Ameren by 1.9% in the 4th quarter. HCR Wealth Advisors now owns 8,417 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $549,000 after buying an additional 154 shares in the last quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp raised its holdings in shares of Ameren by 5.6% in the 4th quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 3,119 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $203,000 after buying an additional 166 shares in the last quarter. Cigna Investments Inc. New raised its holdings in shares of Ameren by 1.9% in the 4th quarter. Cigna Investments Inc. New now owns 11,757 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $767,000 after buying an additional 222 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Ameren by 11.6% in the 4th quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 2,182 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $142,000 after buying an additional 227 shares in the last quarter. 72.77% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Ameren Company Profile

Ameren Corporation operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. It operates through four segments: Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution, Ameren Illinois Natural Gas, and Ameren Transmission. The company engages in the rate-regulated electric generation, transmission, and distribution activities; and rate-regulated natural gas distribution and transmission businesses.

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