Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Eversource Energy (ES) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Eversource Energy returned higher than the industry in last 12 months. Eversource Energy‘s systematic investments in renewable energy generation, primarily in transmission and distribution systems will help it to provide reliable services to its customers.  Margins of the company will improve if the company continues to reduce operating costs. Moreover, its regulated investment plans will help it to boost earnings per share by 5–7% over the 2017–2020 time frame from the 2016 level of $2.96. However, the company's decision to withdraw its Access Northeast Pipeline plan due to regulatory uncertainty, will have an adverse impact on its growth prospects.  Moreover, it faces challenges due to severe weather conditions.”

A number of other equities analysts have also commented on the stock. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Eversource Energy from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and set a $72.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price target on shares of Eversource Energy from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Williams Capital lifted their price target on shares of Eversource Energy from $64.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, October 23rd. Finally, Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of Eversource Energy in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set an underperform rating and a $62.00 price target on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $64.95.

Shares of Eversource Energy (ES) traded down $0.02 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $60.79. 2,157,985 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,940,000. The firm has a market capitalization of $19,260.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.74, a PEG ratio of 3.13 and a beta of 0.31. The company has a current ratio of 0.92, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95. Eversource Energy has a 52 week low of $54.10 and a 52 week high of $66.15.

Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.84 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $1.99 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.06 billion. Eversource Energy had a return on equity of 9.03% and a net margin of 12.84%. Eversource Energy’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.83 EPS. research analysts anticipate that Eversource Energy will post 3.14 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Investors of record on Monday, December 18th were issued a $0.475 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 15th. This represents a $1.90 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.13%. Eversource Energy’s payout ratio is 61.69%.

In related news, COO Werner J. Schweiger sold 10,098 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.68, for a total value of $653,138.64. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.53% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Personal Capital Advisors Corp lifted its holdings in Eversource Energy by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Personal Capital Advisors Corp now owns 493,816 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $31,199,000 after buying an additional 11,694 shares during the period. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its holdings in shares of Eversource Energy by 48.7% during the fourth quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 82,636 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,218,000 after purchasing an additional 27,071 shares during the period. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA acquired a new position in shares of Eversource Energy during the fourth quarter valued at about $227,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Eversource Energy by 6.0% during the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,141,496 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $72,120,000 after purchasing an additional 64,919 shares during the period. Finally, National Pension Service raised its holdings in shares of Eversource Energy by 3.2% during the fourth quarter. National Pension Service now owns 323,578 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $20,444,000 after purchasing an additional 10,149 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.14% of the company’s stock.

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About Eversource Energy

Eversource Energy is a utility holding company engaged in the energy delivery business. The Company operates through three segments: electric distribution, electric transmission and natural gas distribution. The Company’s electric distribution segment consists of the distribution businesses, which are engaged in the distribution of electricity to retail customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire and the regulated electric generation businesses.

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