TransAlta (TAC) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of TransAlta (NYSE:TAC) (TSE:TA) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “TransAlta is Canada’s largest non-regulated electric generation and marketing company. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on TAC. Industrial Alliance Securities raised shares of TransAlta to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 26th. TD Securities raised shares of TransAlta from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 26th. ValuEngine raised shares of TransAlta from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 20th. Credit Suisse Group raised shares of TransAlta from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Monday, March 18th. Finally, National Bank Financial cut shares of TransAlta from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating in a research note on Thursday, February 28th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $6.75.

Shares of NYSE:TAC traded up $0.01 on Thursday, reaching $6.53. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 9,933 shares, compared to its average volume of 146,892. TransAlta has a 52-week low of $3.99 and a 52-week high of $7.61. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.87 billion, a P/E ratio of -12.34 and a beta of 1.41. The company has a quick ratio of 1.23, a current ratio of 1.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04.

TransAlta (NYSE:TAC) (TSE:TA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 14th. The utilities provider reported ($0.17) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.04) by ($0.13). TransAlta had a negative return on equity of 8.73% and a negative net margin of 14.67%. The business had revenue of $487.41 million during the quarter. On average, analysts expect that TransAlta will post 0.13 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 3rd will be issued a $0.03 dividend. This represents a $0.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.84%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 31st. This is a positive change from TransAlta’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.03. TransAlta’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -22.64%.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Intact Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of TransAlta by 22.9% in the 4th quarter. Intact Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,355,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $7,549,000 after acquiring an additional 252,800 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of TransAlta by 7.1% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,152,115 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $40,255,000 after acquiring an additional 477,166 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley lifted its holdings in shares of TransAlta by 22.7% in the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,163,665 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $6,549,000 after acquiring an additional 215,047 shares during the last quarter. QS Investors LLC bought a new stake in shares of TransAlta in the 4th quarter worth about $1,849,000. Finally, Jane Street Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of TransAlta by 285.9% in the 3rd quarter. Jane Street Group LLC now owns 51,116 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $288,000 after acquiring an additional 37,871 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 49.00% of the company’s stock.

TransAlta Company Profile

TransAlta Corporation operates as non-regulated electricity generation and energy marketing company in Canada, the United States, and Western Australia. It operates through eight segments: Canadian Coal, U.S. Coal, Canadian Gas, Australian Gas, Wind and Solar, Hydro, Energy Marketing, and Corporate. The company generates and markets electricity through various generation fuels, such as coal, natural gas, water, solar, and wind.

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