American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. They presently have a $101.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 3.79% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “American Electric's strategy includes incremental investment in renewable generation projects throughout the United States. In sync with this, the company has been making substantial investments. It has a stable earnings base of approximately 5.4 million customers spread over 11 states. This provides stability to its revenue stream and insulates it from lower sales in any particular service area. However, the company is exposed to environmental risks, since its power plants produce large quantities of nitrogen, sulfur, mercury and carbon dioxide. In the past six months, shares of American Electric underperformed its industry's growth. Additional investments necessary to meet proposed environmental regulations through 2025 for its Welsh Plant, could be worth approximately $550 million. Such costs could hamper its financial condition.”

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on AEP. Wolfe Research set a $101.00 price target on shares of American Electric Power and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Scotiabank raised shares of American Electric Power from a “sector perform” rating to a “sector outperform” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $93.00 to $102.00 in a research report on Friday, December 20th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on shares of American Electric Power from $95.00 to $92.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday. Royal Bank of Canada raised shares of American Electric Power from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $96.00 to $103.00 in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, SunTrust Banks set a $102.00 price target on shares of American Electric Power and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $97.42.

Shares of NYSE:AEP opened at $97.31 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.36, a current ratio of 0.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.27. American Electric Power has a 52-week low of $75.52 and a 52-week high of $97.53. The company has a 50 day moving average of $93.32 and a two-hundred day moving average of $91.79. The company has a market capitalization of $46.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.64, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.82 and a beta of 0.07.

American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 24th. The utilities provider reported $1.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.32 by $0.14. American Electric Power had a net margin of 13.52% and a return on equity of 11.09%. The company had revenue of $4.30 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.08 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.26 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that American Electric Power will post 4.18 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AEP. Millennium Management LLC boosted its holdings in American Electric Power by 360.6% in the third quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,234,988 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $115,706,000 after purchasing an additional 966,851 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in American Electric Power by 31.9% in the second quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 3,835,199 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $337,536,000 after purchasing an additional 926,783 shares during the period. Zimmer Partners LP acquired a new position in American Electric Power in the third quarter worth $61,911,000. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its holdings in American Electric Power by 18.9% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 3,691,176 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $324,860,000 after purchasing an additional 585,801 shares during the period. Finally, Assenagon Asset Management S.A. boosted its holdings in American Electric Power by 817.8% in the third quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 547,241 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $51,271,000 after purchasing an additional 487,613 shares during the period. 73.81% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

American Electric Power Company Profile

American Electric Power Company, Inc, an electric public utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity for sale to retail and wholesale customers in the United States. The company generates electricity using coal and lignite, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, solar, wind, and other energy sources.

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