Consolidated Edison (ED) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Consolidated Edison’s continues to follow a systematic capital investment plan for infrastructure development and maintain the reliability of its electric, gas and steam delivery systems. Its regulated utilities provide it with a stable earnings base. These utilities offer transmission and distribution with limited commodity exposure as most electric and gas supply costs are passed on to customers. However, Consolidated Edison faces interest rate risk owing to variable rate debt. Its share price has also underperformed its industry in the last one year. Adverse decisions by the commissions in pending regulatory cases may negatively impact Consolidated Edison’s earnings.  The company faces interest rate risk owing to variable rate debt and to new debt financing needed to fund capital requirements.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the company. ValuEngine raised Consolidated Edison from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. Bank of America lifted their target price on Consolidated Edison from $84.50 to $85.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, September 26th. UBS Group lifted their target price on Consolidated Edison from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Friday, September 21st. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on Consolidated Edison from $81.00 to $77.00 and set a sell rating for the company in a report on Friday, September 21st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lifted their target price on Consolidated Edison from $81.00 to $83.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Monday, September 17th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Consolidated Edison currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $77.56.

Shares of ED stock traded down $0.82 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $75.23. 2,338,620 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,905,720. Consolidated Edison has a 1 year low of $71.12 and a 1 year high of $89.70. The firm has a market capitalization of $23.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.39, a PEG ratio of 5.96 and a beta of 0.02. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a current ratio of 0.63.

Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.57 by $0.04. Consolidated Edison had a return on equity of 8.52% and a net margin of 12.90%. The business had revenue of $2.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.64 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.58 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Consolidated Edison will post 4.26 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 17th. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 15th were issued a dividend of $0.715 per share. This represents a $2.86 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.80%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 14th. Consolidated Edison’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 69.93%.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ED. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Consolidated Edison by 7.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 27,689,373 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,159,218,000 after acquiring an additional 1,815,861 shares during the period. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. raised its stake in shares of Consolidated Edison by 2,609.5% during the 2nd quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 577,357 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $45,022,000 after buying an additional 556,048 shares during the period. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Consolidated Edison by 248.6% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 580,731 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $45,286,000 after buying an additional 414,146 shares during the period. Bank of Nova Scotia raised its stake in shares of Consolidated Edison by 384.9% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 371,373 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $28,959,000 after buying an additional 294,781 shares during the period. Finally, Unigestion Holding SA acquired a new position in shares of Consolidated Edison during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $21,198,000. 58.61% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Consolidated Edison

Consolidated Edison, Inc, through its subsidiaries, engages in regulated electric, gas, and steam delivery businesses in the United States. The company offers electric services to approximately 3.4 million customers in New York City and Westchester County; gas to approximately 1.1 million customers in Manhattan, the Bronx, parts of Queens, and Westchester County; and steam to approximately 1,600 customers in parts of Manhattan.

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