ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) Lowered to “Strong Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report 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. “

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Mizuho lowered their target price on ALLETE from $66.00 to $55.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, August 26th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered their target price on ALLETE from $70.00 to $64.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, June 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $59.25.

ALE traded up $0.20 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $51.78. 1,638 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 266,188. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.97 and a beta of 0.29. ALLETE has a 1-year low of $48.22 and a 1-year high of $88.60. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $55.83 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $58.25. The company has a quick ratio of 0.19, a current ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57.

ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 5th. The utilities provider reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.65 by ($0.26). ALLETE had a net margin of 14.58% and a return on equity of 7.07%. The company had revenue of $243.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $290.75 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.66 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 16.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that ALLETE will post 3.36 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 1st. Investors of record on Friday, August 14th were paid a $0.6175 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 13th. This represents a $2.47 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.77%. ALLETE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 74.17%.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ALE. Private Advisor Group LLC purchased a new stake in ALLETE during the second quarter worth $29,000. CWM LLC boosted its position in ALLETE by 84.0% during the second quarter. CWM LLC now owns 1,056 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $58,000 after purchasing an additional 482 shares in the last quarter. Orion Portfolio Solutions LLC boosted its position in ALLETE by 46.7% during the second quarter. Orion Portfolio Solutions LLC now owns 2,189 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $120,000 after purchasing an additional 697 shares in the last quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. purchased a new stake in ALLETE during the second quarter worth $126,000. Finally, HighTower Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in ALLETE during the first quarter worth $203,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.25% 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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