El Paso Electric (NYSE:EE) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

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El Paso Electric (NYSE:EE) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 924,300 shares, a growth of 68.9% from the April 30th total of 547,400 shares. Currently, 2.3% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 374,100 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.5 days.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on EE shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of El Paso Electric from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 26th. Bank of America restated a “neutral” rating and set a $55.00 price target (up from $49.00) on shares of El Paso Electric in a research report on Friday, March 1st. Williams Capital upgraded shares of El Paso Electric from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $49.00 to $53.00 in a research report on Monday, March 4th. TheStreet lowered shares of El Paso Electric from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 27th. Finally, Mizuho boosted their price target on shares of El Paso Electric from $50.00 to $58.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, March 29th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $58.00.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in EE. Sageworth Trust Co grew its position in El Paso Electric by 30.8% in the first quarter. Sageworth Trust Co now owns 785 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $46,000 after acquiring an additional 185 shares in the last quarter. Ellis Investment Partners LLC purchased a new position in El Paso Electric in the first quarter worth $60,000. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc purchased a new position in El Paso Electric in the fourth quarter worth $65,000. Quadrant Capital Group LLC grew its position in El Paso Electric by 1,552.8% in the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 1,190 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $69,000 after acquiring an additional 1,118 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Strs Ohio grew its position in El Paso Electric by 260.0% in the fourth quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 1,800 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $90,000 after acquiring an additional 1,300 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 94.27% of the company’s stock.

Shares of EE traded up $0.19 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $65.94. 4,837 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 730,388. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.66 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.24, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.53 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11, a current ratio of 0.52 and a quick ratio of 0.37. El Paso Electric has a 1 year low of $47.99 and a 1 year high of $66.83.

El Paso Electric (NYSE:EE) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, May 8th. The utilities provider reported ($0.17) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.12 by ($0.29). El Paso Electric had a return on equity of 8.61% and a net margin of 10.79%. The company had revenue of $174.36 million during the quarter. On average, analysts expect that El Paso Electric will post 2.62 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 28th. Investors of record on Friday, June 14th will be given a $0.385 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 13th. This is a positive change from El Paso Electric’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. This represents a $1.54 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.34%. El Paso Electric’s payout ratio is 66.09%.

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About El Paso Electric

El Paso Electric Co engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in West Texas and southern New Mexico. Its energy sources consist of nuclear fuel, natural gas, coal, wind turbines, and purchased power. The company’s electrical generating facilities include Palo Verde Station, Newman Power Station, Rio Grande Power Station, Four Corners Station, Copper Power Station, and Wind Ranch.

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