MDU Resources Group (NYSE:MDU) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

MDU Resources Group (NYSE:MDU) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Monday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has a $32.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 3.73% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “MDU Resources continues benefiting from its two-platform business model. The company is expanding operations through strategic acquisitions and remains poised to gain from an increasing backlog in the construction segment. Its planned investments will further strengthen its infrastructure and improve reliability of its services, helping it serve the growing customer base more effectively. Also, owing to these investments, the company anticipates its rate base to expand. Moreover, it has sufficient  liquidity to meet its near-term obligations. In the past year, shares of the utility have outperformed the industry. However, Construction materials products are marketed amid stiff competition in terms of price, service, delivery time and proximity to customers. Aging natural gas pipelines, power generation and transmission facilities are added woes.”

MDU Resources Group stock opened at $30.85 on Monday. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $31.90 and its 200-day simple moving average is $32.18. The company has a market cap of $6.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.83, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.72. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a current ratio of 1.55 and a quick ratio of 1.21. MDU Resources Group has a fifty-two week low of $21.41 and a fifty-two week high of $35.02.

MDU Resources Group (NYSE:MDU) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by ($0.03). MDU Resources Group had a net margin of 7.43% and a return on equity of 13.47%. The company had revenue of $1.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.46 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.50 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that MDU Resources Group will post 2.12 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in MDU. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new position in MDU Resources Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $27,000. Total Clarity Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new stake in MDU Resources Group in the first quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV acquired a new stake in MDU Resources Group in the second quarter valued at approximately $35,000. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in MDU Resources Group in the first quarter valued at approximately $36,000. Finally, Tradewinds Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in MDU Resources Group in the second quarter valued at approximately $37,000. 68.20% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About MDU Resources Group

MDU Resources Group, Inc engages in the provision of natural resource products and related services to energy and transportation infrastructure. It operates through the following business segments: Electric, Natural Gas Distribution, Pipeline and Midstream, Construction Materials and Contracting, Construction Services, and Other.

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