WEC Energy Group (WEC) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $70.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 12.63% from the stock’s previous close.

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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WEC has been the topic of a number of other reports. UBS assumed coverage on shares of WEC Energy Group in a report on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $65.00 price target on the stock. Wells Fargo cut their price target on shares of WEC Energy Group from $73.00 to $71.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $63.00 price target (down from $65.00) on shares of WEC Energy Group in a report on Friday, February 23rd. Guggenheim reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $73.00 price target on shares of WEC Energy Group in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, Citigroup assumed coverage on shares of WEC Energy Group in a report on Friday, April 13th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $61.00 price target on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $65.80.

WEC opened at $62.15 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92. The firm has a market cap of $19,611.09, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.79, a PEG ratio of 4.46 and a beta of 0.07. WEC Energy Group has a 1 year low of $58.92 and a 1 year high of $70.09.

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

In other news, Director Barbara L. Bowles sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.19, for a total transaction of $120,380.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.94% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Chemical Bank increased its position in shares of WEC Energy Group by 22.4% in the fourth quarter. Chemical Bank now owns 10,502 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $698,000 after purchasing an additional 1,920 shares during the last quarter. Green Square Capital LLC boosted its stake in WEC Energy Group by 26.6% in the fourth quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 121,800 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $8,091,000 after buying an additional 25,617 shares in the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in WEC Energy Group by 5.4% in the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 42,722 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,838,000 after buying an additional 2,196 shares in the last quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB purchased a new stake in WEC Energy Group in the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,971,000. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in WEC Energy Group by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 79,685 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,293,000 after buying an additional 1,237 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.98% 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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