Eversource Energy (ES) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Eversource Energy returned higher than the industry in last 12 months. Eversource Energy‘s systematic investments in renewable energy generation, primarily in transmission and distribution systems will help it to provide reliable services to its customers.  Margins of the company will improve if the company continues to reduce operating costs. Moreover, its regulated investment plans will help it to boost earnings per share by 5–7% over the 2017–2020 time frame from the 2016 level of $2.96. However, the company's decision to withdraw its Access Northeast Pipeline plan due to regulatory uncertainty, will have an adverse impact on its growth prospects.  Moreover, it faces challenges due to severe weather conditions.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Morgan Stanley upgraded Eversource Energy from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and set a $72.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. Bank of America assumed coverage on Eversource Energy in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set an underperform rating and a $62.00 price target for the company. Williams Capital lifted their price target on Eversource Energy from $64.00 to $66.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lifted their price target on Eversource Energy from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $64.95.

Shares of Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) traded down $0.02 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $60.79. The company had a trading volume of 2,157,985 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,769,380. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a current ratio of 0.92. The stock has a market capitalization of $19,263.50, a PE ratio of 19.74, a P/E/G ratio of 3.05 and a beta of 0.31. Eversource Energy has a 52 week low of $54.10 and a 52 week high of $66.15.

Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.82 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.84 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $1.99 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.06 billion. Eversource Energy had a net margin of 12.84% and a return on equity of 9.03%. The firm’s revenue was down 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.83 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Eversource Energy will post 3.14 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 18th were given a $0.475 dividend. This represents a $1.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.13%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 15th. Eversource Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 61.69%.

In other news, COO Werner J. Schweiger sold 10,098 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.68, for a total value of $653,138.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.53% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Eversource Energy by 2.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 33,055,292 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,006,787,000 after acquiring an additional 781,327 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in shares of Eversource Energy by 3.4% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 15,936,793 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $963,220,000 after acquiring an additional 516,965 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its stake in shares of Eversource Energy by 5.4% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 2,801,473 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $169,322,000 after acquiring an additional 144,185 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Eversource Energy by 14.4% in the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,653,302 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $160,366,000 after acquiring an additional 333,139 shares during the last quarter. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its stake in shares of Eversource Energy by 72.3% in the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 2,556,503 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $154,515,000 after acquiring an additional 1,072,700 shares during the last quarter. 72.14% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Eversource Energy

Eversource Energy is a utility holding company engaged in the energy delivery business. The Company operates through three segments: electric distribution, electric transmission and natural gas distribution. The Company’s electric distribution segment consists of the distribution businesses, which are engaged in the distribution of electricity to retail customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire and the regulated electric generation businesses.

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