ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of ALLETE (NYSE:ALEGet Rating) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “ALLETE is an energy company. In addition to its electric utilities, Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power of Wisconsin, ALLETE owns ALLETE Clean Energy, based in Duluth, U.S. Water Services headquartered in St. Michael, Minn., BNI Energy in Center, N.D., and has an eight percent equity interest in the American Transmission Co. “

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on ALE. TheStreet upgraded shares of ALLETE from a c+ rating to a b rating in a research report on Thursday, January 6th. StockNews.com assumed coverage on shares of ALLETE in a report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a hold rating on the stock. Finally, Mizuho cut their price target on shares of ALLETE from $66.00 to $60.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, March 2nd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $69.33.

Shares of NYSE:ALE opened at $63.44 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $3.38 billion, a PE ratio of 19.64 and a beta of 0.57. The company’s fifty day moving average is $63.97 and its 200 day moving average is $63.56. ALLETE has a 52 week low of $56.84 and a 52 week high of $73.10. The company has a quick ratio of 0.36, a current ratio of 0.54 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60.

ALLETE (NYSE:ALEGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 16th. The utilities provider reported $1.18 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.10 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $399.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $327.65 million. ALLETE had a net margin of 11.92% and a return on equity of 5.89%. The firm’s revenue was up 24.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.90 EPS. Sell-side analysts anticipate that ALLETE will post 3.72 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 15th were issued a $0.65 dividend. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, February 14th. This is a positive change from ALLETE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. ALLETE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 80.50%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its stake in shares of ALLETE by 5.2% during the 4th quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 3,504 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $232,000 after purchasing an additional 174 shares in the last quarter. Eagle Bay Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of ALLETE by 15.1% during the 3rd quarter. Eagle Bay Advisors LLC now owns 1,434 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $86,000 after purchasing an additional 188 shares in the last quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of ALLETE by 1.5% during the 4th quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 13,500 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $896,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans boosted its stake in shares of ALLETE by 1.5% during the 4th quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 13,862 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $920,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Signaturefd LLC boosted its stake in shares of ALLETE by 25.5% during the 3rd quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 1,173 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $70,000 after purchasing an additional 238 shares in the last quarter. 71.09% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About ALLETE (Get Rating)

ALLETE, Inc engages in the provision of electric and natural gas utility services. It operates through the following business segments: Regulated Operations, ALLETE Clean Energy, and U.S. Water Services. The Regulated Operations segment includes regulated utilities; Minnesota Power; SWL&P; and investment in ATC, which regulates utilities that owns and maintains electric transmission assets.

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