Ameren (NYSE:AEE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Ameren Corp. is investing heavily to upgrade its aging infrastructure. As of Sep 30, 2017, the company invested $1 billion in its FERC rate-regulated electric transmission and Illinois electric and natural gas distribution businesses. A stable financial position enables Ameren to maximize shareholder value through the payment of regular dividends and repurchase of shares. The company outperformed the broader industry in last 12 months. However, Ameren Corp's aging infrastructure may pose risks to system reliability and force it to incur unplanned capital expenditures and operating costs. Stringent environmental regulations and operational risks might be potential growth deterrents.  Also its stock is overvalued compared to its historical levels in terms of EV/EBITDA ratio.”

A number of other research firms also recently commented on AEE. Morgan Stanley downgraded Ameren from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $61.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. ValuEngine downgraded Ameren from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, December 4th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ameren in a report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Bank of America began coverage on Ameren in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $62.00 target price on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $56.80.

Shares of Ameren (NYSE:AEE) traded down $0.63 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $55.52. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,385,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,298,433. The company has a current ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92. Ameren has a 12-month low of $51.35 and a 12-month high of $64.89. The firm has a market cap of $13,470.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.03, a PEG ratio of 2.63 and a beta of 0.37.

Ameren (NYSE:AEE) last released its earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.31 by ($0.07). Ameren had a return on equity of 8.61% and a net margin of 10.03%. The firm had revenue of $1.72 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.87 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.52 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts anticipate that Ameren will post 2.8 EPS for the current year.

In related news, SVP Gregory L. Nelson sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.68, for a total value of $752,160.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 36,785 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,305,683.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.38% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AEE. Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo LLC acquired a new stake in Ameren in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $116,000. Cable Hill Partners LLC increased its position in Ameren by 400.2% in the 3rd quarter. Cable Hill Partners LLC now owns 2,031 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $117,000 after acquiring an additional 1,625 shares during the period. Acropolis Investment Management LLC increased its position in Ameren by 101.9% in the 4th quarter. Acropolis Investment Management LLC now owns 3,392 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $200,000 after acquiring an additional 1,712 shares during the period. Seizert Capital Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Ameren in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Finally, Zeke Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Ameren in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $201,000. 70.49% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Ameren

Ameren Corporation is a utility holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois and Ameren Transmission Company (ATXI). It operates through four segments. The Ameren Missouri segment includes all of the operations of Ameren Missouri. The Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution segment consists of the electric distribution business of Ameren Illinois.

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