Consolidated Edison (ED) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Consolidated Edison faces interest rate risk owing to variable rate debt and to new debt financing needed to fund capital requirements, including the construction expenditures of the utilities and maturing debt securities. Its share price has also underperformed its industry in the last year. Adverse decisions by the commissions in pending regulatory cases may negatively impact the company’s earnings. Consolidated Edison also faces commodity price risk related to the purchase and sale of its electricity, gas and related derivative instruments. The company continues to follow a systematic capital investment plan for infrastructure development and to maintain the reliability of its electric, gas and steam delivery systems. Its regulated utilities provide it with a stable earnings base.”

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on ED. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on Consolidated Edison from $77.00 to $81.00 and gave the company a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 11th. Wells Fargo & Co raised their target price on Consolidated Edison from $81.00 to $83.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Monday, September 17th. UBS Group raised their target price on Consolidated Edison from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, September 21st. ValuEngine cut Consolidated Edison from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 26th. Finally, Bank of America raised their target price on Consolidated Edison from $84.50 to $85.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 26th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $76.30.

NYSE ED traded down $0.77 on Tuesday, hitting $75.78. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 94,362 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,152,556. Consolidated Edison has a 52-week low of $71.12 and a 52-week high of $84.32. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97, a quick ratio of 0.56 and a current ratio of 0.62. The stock has a market cap of $23.45 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.34 and a beta of 0.13.

Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.57 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.46 by $0.11. Consolidated Edison had a return on equity of 8.64% and a net margin of 12.60%. The business had revenue of $3.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.17 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.47 EPS. Sell-side analysts predict that Consolidated Edison will post 4.3 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 17th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 14th were paid a dividend of $0.715 per share. This represents a $2.86 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.77%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 13th. Consolidated Edison’s payout ratio is 69.93%.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in ED. Highwater Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Consolidated Edison in the 4th quarter worth $73,000. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. increased its holdings in shares of Consolidated Edison by 385.5% in the 2nd quarter. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. now owns 1,442 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $112,000 after purchasing an additional 1,145 shares in the last quarter. IMS Capital Management bought a new stake in shares of Consolidated Edison in the 3rd quarter worth $120,000. Psagot Investment House Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Consolidated Edison in the 3rd quarter worth $122,000. Finally, ELM Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Consolidated Edison in the 3rd quarter worth $133,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 57.95% of the company’s stock.

Consolidated Edison Company Profile

Consolidated Edison, Inc, through its subsidiaries, engages in regulated electric, gas, and steam delivery businesses in the United States. The company offers electric services to approximately 3.4 million customers in New York City and Westchester County; gas to approximately 1.1 million customers in Manhattan, the Bronx, parts of Queens, and Westchester County; and steam to approximately 1,600 customers in parts of Manhattan.

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