IDACORP (IDA) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of IDACORP (NYSE:IDA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. The brokerage currently has $97.00 price target on the coal producer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “In a year’s time, shares of IDACORP have gained against a decline in the industry. The utility has plans to invest nearly $1.5 billion over 2018-2022 time frame for transmission and plant expansion projects, which will allow the company to provide efficient services along with expanding customer base. Its Board of Directors has been approving annual increase in dividends since 2012 on the back of the company’s consistent performance. However, IDACORP operates under stringent regulatory environment and operation of its hydro-electric power generation units require licenses and the permitting process could involve a number of stringent conditions which may lead to significant capital expenditures. The rising operating cost is a matter of concern for the company.”

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Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. ValuEngine raised IDACORP from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. Williams Capital reissued a hold rating and set a $80.00 price target (down from $86.00) on shares of IDACORP in a research report on Monday, February 26th. Finally, Bank of America began coverage on IDACORP in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. They set an underperform rating and a $85.00 price target on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $87.33.

Shares of IDA opened at $87.25 on Thursday. IDACORP has a 52-week low of $79.59 and a 52-week high of $100.04. The company has a market capitalization of $4,396.70, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.68, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.13 and a beta of 0.40. The company has a current ratio of 2.21, a quick ratio of 1.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77.

IDACORP (NYSE:IDA) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 22nd. The coal producer reported $0.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.10. IDACORP had a return on equity of 9.59% and a net margin of 15.74%. The company had revenue of $305.61 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $274.05 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.66 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that IDACORP will post 4.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CFO Steven R. Keen sold 3,557 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.72, for a total transaction of $312,020.04. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 17,240 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,512,292.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Tessia Park sold 300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.40, for a total value of $25,620.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.71% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. William Blair Investment Management LLC grew its stake in IDACORP by 25.9% during the 4th quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 361,814 shares of the coal producer’s stock worth $33,055,000 after buying an additional 74,415 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Capital Wealth Advisors bought a new position in IDACORP during the 4th quarter worth $414,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in IDACORP during the 4th quarter worth $4,996,000. Gotham Asset Management LLC bought a new position in IDACORP during the 4th quarter worth $351,000. Finally, Westwood Holdings Group Inc. grew its stake in IDACORP by 0.7% during the 4th quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 424,665 shares of the coal producer’s stock worth $38,797,000 after buying an additional 3,108 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.65% of the company’s stock.

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IDACORP Company Profile

IDACORP, Inc, through its subsidiary, Idaho Power Company, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, purchase, and sale of electric energy in the United States. It operates 17 hydroelectric generating plants located in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon, as well as 3 natural gas-fired plants in southern Idaho; and owns interests in 3 coal-fired steam electric generating plants located in Wyoming, Nevada, and Oregon.

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