Spire (NYSE:SR) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Spire (NYSE:SR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $93.00 price target on the utilities provider’s 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 analysts also recently commented on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price objective on shares of Spire from $89.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Friday, September 6th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Spire from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $84.25.

SR traded up $0.16 on Wednesday, hitting $84.22. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 136,746 shares, compared to its average volume of 160,495. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $85.33 and its 200-day simple moving average is $84.27. The firm has a market cap of $4.27 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.55, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.96 and a beta of 0.15. Spire has a 12 month low of $70.53 and a 12 month high of $88.00. The company has a quick ratio of 0.40, a current ratio of 0.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86.

In other Spire news, EVP Steven P. Rasche acquired 1,108 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 13th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $27.20 per share, with a total value of $30,137.60. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 2.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Nuveen Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Spire by 91.9% in the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 943,689 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $79,194,000 after purchasing an additional 451,810 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Spire by 39.1% during the 2nd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 38,866 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,262,000 after acquiring an additional 10,932 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of Spire by 9.6% during the 2nd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 426,280 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $35,773,000 after acquiring an additional 37,430 shares during the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Spire during the 2nd quarter worth $1,138,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Spire by 36.8% during the 2nd quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 8,911 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $748,000 after acquiring an additional 2,396 shares during the last quarter. 79.20% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Spire

Spire Inc, through its subsidiaries, engages in the purchase, retail distribution, and sale of natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and other end-users of natural gas in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Gas Utility and Gas Marketing. It is also involved in marketing natural gas; and provision of energy services on non-regulated basis to on-system utility transportation customers, as well as to retail and wholesale customers.

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