Peabody Energy (BTU) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The firm presently has a $31.00 target price on the coal producer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 10.44% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Peabody Energy Corporation is a coal company. It provides voice in advocating for sustainable mining, energy access and clean coal technologies. The company serves metallurgical and thermal coal customers primarily in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, Illinois, Indiana and Australia. Peabody Energy Corporation is based in St Louis, United States. “

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on BTU. BMO Capital Markets began coverage on shares of Peabody Energy in a report on Wednesday, March 20th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $34.00 target price on the stock. MKM Partners dropped their target price on shares of Peabody Energy from $44.00 to $40.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday. Deutsche Bank began coverage on shares of Peabody Energy in a report on Sunday, March 31st. They set a “buy” rating and a $33.00 target price on the stock. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on shares of Peabody Energy in a report on Wednesday, March 20th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $42.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Clarkson Capital raised shares of Peabody Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 16th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Peabody Energy presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $37.50.

BTU traded up $0.13 during trading on Thursday, hitting $28.07. The company had a trading volume of 669,149 shares, compared to its average volume of 852,813. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.02 billion, a PE ratio of 8.91 and a beta of 0.62. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a current ratio of 1.85 and a quick ratio of 1.58. Peabody Energy has a 1-year low of $27.10 and a 1-year high of $47.84.

Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 6th. The coal producer reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $1.40 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.39 billion. Peabody Energy had a net margin of 11.73% and a return on equity of 14.57%. The firm’s revenue was down 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $2.47 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Peabody Energy will post 1.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP A. Verona Dorch sold 2,170 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.72, for a total value of $64,492.40. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 126,058 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,746,443.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider George John Schuller, Jr. sold 16,971 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.98, for a total transaction of $474,848.58. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 45,164 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,263,688.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 58,979 shares of company stock worth $1,663,697 over the last three months. 0.42% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Smith Asset Management Group LP acquired a new stake in shares of Peabody Energy in the 4th quarter worth about $33,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. grew its position in Peabody Energy by 9.4% in the 4th quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 7,282 shares of the coal producer’s stock valued at $222,000 after buying an additional 627 shares in the last quarter. Hsbc Holdings PLC grew its position in Peabody Energy by 25.7% in the 4th quarter. Hsbc Holdings PLC now owns 8,336 shares of the coal producer’s stock valued at $254,000 after buying an additional 1,702 shares in the last quarter. NJ State Employees Deferred Compensation Plan bought a new position in Peabody Energy in the 4th quarter valued at about $366,000. Finally, GAM Holding AG grew its position in Peabody Energy by 28.4% in the 3rd quarter. GAM Holding AG now owns 12,295 shares of the coal producer’s stock valued at $438,000 after buying an additional 2,723 shares in the last quarter.

Peabody Energy Company Profile

Peabody Energy Corporation engages in coal mining business. The company operates through six segments: Powder River Basin Mining, Midwestern U.S. Mining, Western U.S. Mining, Australian Metallurgical Mining, Australian Thermal Mining, and Trading and Brokerage. It is involved in mining, preparation, and sale of thermal coal primarily to electric utilities; and metallurgical coal that include hard coking coal, semi-hard coking coal, semi-soft coking coal, and low-volatile pulverized coal injection for industrial customers.

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