Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of The Laclede Group Inc. (NYSE:SR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning. The firm currently has $67.00 price objective on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Spire Inc. is a public utility company which is engaged in the purchase, retail distribution, sale and marketing of natural gas. Its operating segment consists of Gas Utility and Gas Marketing. Gas Utility segment includes the regulated operations of Laclede Gas and Alabama Gas Corporation. Gas Marketing segment is engaged in the marketing of natural gas and related activities on a non-regulated basis. Spire Inc, formerly known as The Laclede Group Inc., is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. “
Several other research firms have also weighed in on SR. Ladenburg Thalmann started coverage on The Laclede Group in a report on Friday, August 19th. They set a neutral rating and a $69.00 target price on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded The Laclede Group from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 6th. Finally, TheStreet raised The Laclede Group from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $64.60.
Shares of The Laclede Group (NYSE:SR) opened at 61.30 on Wednesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $63.50 and its 200-day moving average price is $65.88. The Laclede Group has a 12 month low of $54.33 and a 12 month high of $71.21. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.80 billion, a PE ratio of 19.23 and a beta of 0.32.
The Laclede Group (NYSE:SR) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.33 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.27 by $0.06. The Laclede Group had a return on equity of 8.84% and a net margin of 9.55%. The company had revenue of $249.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $290.50 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.25 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that The Laclede Group will post $3.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 4th. Investors of record on Monday, September 12th were given a dividend of $0.49 per share. This represents a $1.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.20%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 8th. The Laclede Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 61.25%.
The Laclede Group Company Profile
Spire Inc, formerly The Laclede Group, Inc is a public utility holding company for Laclede Gas Company (Laclede Gas or the Missouri Utilities). It operates through two segments: Gas Utility and Gas Marketing. The Gas Utility segment includes the regulated operations of Laclede Gas and Alabama Gas Corporation (Alagasco or the Alabama Utility) (collectively, the Utilities).
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