Idacorp (IDA) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

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

According to Zacks, “In a  year's time shares of IDACORP have gained compared with its industry's decline. IDACORP has plans to invest nearly $1.5 billion over the 2018-2022 time frame for transmission and plant-expansion projects, which will allow the company to provide efficient services along with expanding its customer base. 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..”

Several other research analysts have also recently commented on IDA. Williams Capital reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $80.00 target price (down from $86.00) on shares of Idacorp in a report on Monday, February 26th. ValuEngine raised shares of Idacorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, April 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $88.00.

Idacorp stock traded up $0.45 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $89.69. The company had a trading volume of 4,244 shares, compared to its average volume of 301,906. The stock has a market cap of $4.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.36, a P/E/G ratio of 5.46 and a beta of 0.39. The company has a quick ratio of 1.56, a current ratio of 1.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.81. Idacorp has a one year low of $79.59 and a one year high of $100.04.

Idacorp (NYSE:IDA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 3rd. The coal producer reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.02. Idacorp had a net margin of 15.88% and a return on equity of 9.62%. The firm had revenue of $310.11 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $302.93 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.66 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that Idacorp will post 4.19 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of IDA. Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Idacorp by 2.6% during the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 220,781 shares of the coal producer’s stock worth $19,488,000 after purchasing an additional 5,590 shares during the period. WINTON GROUP Ltd bought a new position in Idacorp during the first quarter worth $1,225,000. Royal Bank of Canada increased its stake in Idacorp by 1.0% in the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 194,361 shares of the coal producer’s stock valued at $17,156,000 after purchasing an additional 1,984 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc increased its stake in Idacorp by 9.0% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 237,520 shares of the coal producer’s stock valued at $20,966,000 after purchasing an additional 19,647 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Verition Fund Management LLC bought a new stake in Idacorp in the first quarter valued at $3,629,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.39% of the company’s stock.

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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