Fortis (NYSE:FTS) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Fortis (NYSE:FTS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Fortis, Inc. is engaged in electric and gas utility business. The Company offers regulated utilities comprised of electric and gas as well as engages in non-regulated hydroelectric operations. It operates primarily in Canada, United States and Caribbean. Fortis, Inc. is based in St John’s, Canada. “

FTS has been the subject of several other research reports. CIBC reissued an average rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of Fortis in a report on Tuesday, July 23rd. BMO Capital Markets reissued a buy rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Fortis in a research note on Tuesday, April 16th. Raymond James downgraded Fortis from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 23rd. ValuEngine downgraded Fortis from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, Bank of America set a $54.00 target price on Fortis and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Fortis has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $51.20.

FTS stock traded up $0.17 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $40.78. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 254,142 shares, compared to its average volume of 362,432. The company has a quick ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 0.62 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.31. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $39.75. Fortis has a 1 year low of $31.37 and a 1 year high of $40.93. The stock has a market cap of $17.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.04 and a beta of 0.18.

Fortis (NYSE:FTS) last released its earnings results on Friday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.44 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $1.82 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.54 billion. Fortis had a return on equity of 6.80% and a net margin of 12.72%. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.57 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that Fortis will post 1.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, September 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 20th will be paid a $0.344 dividend. This is an increase from Fortis’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.34. This represents a $1.38 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.37%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 19th. Fortis’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 70.16%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FTS. Bremer Bank National Association purchased a new stake in shares of Fortis during the first quarter worth about $27,000. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Fortis during the second quarter valued at about $39,000. AGF Investments LLC acquired a new position in shares of Fortis during the second quarter valued at about $54,000. Lindbrook Capital LLC raised its position in Fortis by 55.7% in the first quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC now owns 1,736 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $64,000 after purchasing an additional 621 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. raised its position in Fortis by 1,617.6% in the first quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. now owns 1,752 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $66,000 after purchasing an additional 1,650 shares in the last quarter. 51.56% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Fortis Company Profile

Fortis Inc operates as an electric and gas utility company in Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean. It generates, transmits, and distributes electricity to approximately 425,000 retail customers in southeastern Arizona; and 97,000 retail customers in Arizona's Mohave and Santa Cruz counties with an aggregate capacity of 3,377 MW (MW), including 57 MW of solar capacity.

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