ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “ALLETE is an energy company. In addition to its electric utilities, Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power of Wisconsin, ALLETE owns ALLETE Clean Energy, based in Duluth, U.S. Water Services headquartered in St. Michael, Minn., BNI Energy in Center, N.D., and has an eight percent equity interest in the American Transmission Co. “

Separately, ValuEngine upgraded shares of ALLETE from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, May 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $81.08.

NYSE ALE opened at $85.67 on Tuesday. ALLETE has a 52-week low of $72.42 and a 52-week high of $88.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68, a quick ratio of 1.08 and a current ratio of 1.34. The company has a market capitalization of $4.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.25, a P/E/G ratio of 3.26 and a beta of 0.22. The company has a fifty day moving average of $85.95 and a 200-day moving average of $82.89.

ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.66 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.66. The company had revenue of $290.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $349.00 million. ALLETE had a net margin of 13.61% and a return on equity of 9.14%. The firm’s revenue was down 15.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.61 EPS. As a group, analysts forecast that ALLETE will post 3.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, September 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, August 15th will be given a $0.5875 dividend. This represents a $2.35 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.74%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 14th. ALLETE’s payout ratio is presently 65.10%.

In related news, CEO Alan R. Hodnik sold 4,000 shares of ALLETE stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.74, for a total value of $338,960.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Alan R. Hodnik sold 6,000 shares of ALLETE stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.09, for a total transaction of $510,540.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 67,377 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,733,108.93. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.43% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of ALE. Archford Capital Strategies LLC purchased a new position in ALLETE in the 1st quarter worth $27,000. Signaturefd LLC increased its position in shares of ALLETE by 273.7% in the second quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 355 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $30,000 after acquiring an additional 260 shares during the period. Captrust Financial Advisors increased its position in shares of ALLETE by 320.5% in the second quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 370 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $31,000 after acquiring an additional 282 shares during the period. Point72 Asset Management L.P. purchased a new position in shares of ALLETE in the second quarter valued at about $33,000. Finally, CWM LLC increased its position in shares of ALLETE by 93.4% in the first quarter. CWM LLC now owns 410 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $34,000 after acquiring an additional 198 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 71.69% of the company’s stock.

ALLETE Company Profile

ALLETE, Inc operates as an energy company. The company operates through three segments: Regulated Operations, ALLETE Clean Energy, and U.S. Water Services. It generates electricity from coal-fired, wind, hydroelectric, natural gas-fired, biomass co-fired, solar, and other sources. The company provides regulated utility electric, natural gas, and water services in northwestern Wisconsin to approximately 15,000 electric customers, 13,000 natural gas customers, and 10,000 water customers, as well as regulated utility electric services in northeastern Minnesota to approximately 145,000 retail customers and 16 non-affiliated municipal customers.

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