FirstEnergy (FE) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning. The firm currently has $34.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of FirstEnergy's have gained higher than the industry in the last six months. FirstEnergy’s modernization drive and its ambitious Energizing the Future plan is processing well and is aimed at upgrading its transmission capabilities. Recently, the company completed inspection of its assets and went ahead with necessary maintenance work of its equipments before the upcoming winter. The company is working to transform itself into a regulated company by mid of 2018. However, high competition in the wholesale and retail electric markets can affect its top line. In addition, stringent regulatory norms, mild weather and intensifying competition are some of the headwinds.”

A number of other equities analysts have also issued reports on FE. ValuEngine upgraded FirstEnergy from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Citigroup raised their target price on FirstEnergy from $31.00 to $34.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $34.00 target price on FirstEnergy and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Mizuho restated a hold rating and issued a $30.50 target price on shares of FirstEnergy in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Finally, KeyCorp restated a hold rating on shares of FirstEnergy in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. FirstEnergy presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $35.32.

Shares of FirstEnergy (NYSE FE) traded down $0.06 on Tuesday, hitting $30.32. The stock had a trading volume of 3,195,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,684,167. FirstEnergy has a 12-month low of $27.93 and a 12-month high of $35.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.29, a quick ratio of 0.56 and a current ratio of 0.69. The stock has a market cap of $13,490.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of -2.58 and a beta of 0.25.

FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.97 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.11. FirstEnergy had a positive return on equity of 19.29% and a negative net margin of 35.99%. The firm had revenue of $3.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.72 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.90 EPS. research analysts forecast that FirstEnergy will post 3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Sandy Spring Bank grew its position in shares of FirstEnergy by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 5,141 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $150,000 after acquiring an additional 66 shares during the period. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS grew its position in shares of FirstEnergy by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 32,967 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $961,000 after acquiring an additional 145 shares during the period. Sentry Investment Management LLC grew its position in shares of FirstEnergy by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 35,060 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,022,000 after acquiring an additional 185 shares during the period. Norinchukin Bank The grew its position in shares of FirstEnergy by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Norinchukin Bank The now owns 36,293 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,058,000 after acquiring an additional 240 shares during the period. Finally, National Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in FirstEnergy by 4.8% in the 2nd quarter. National Asset Management Inc. now owns 8,245 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $242,000 after buying an additional 379 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.32% of the company’s stock.

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About FirstEnergy

FirstEnergy Corp. is a holding company. The Company is engaged in holding, directly or indirectly, all of the outstanding equity of its principal subsidiaries. Its segments include Regulated Distribution, Regulated Transmission, Competitive Energy Services (CES) and Corporate/Other. As of December 31, 2016, the Regulated Distribution segment distributed electricity through the Company’s 10 utility operating companies, serving approximately six million customers, and purchased power for its provider of last resort (POLR), standard offer service (SOS), standard offer service (SSO) and default service requirements in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

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