Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ameren (NYSE:AEE) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Ameren Corp's stable financial position enables Ameren to maximize shareholder value through the payment of regular dividends and repurchase of shares. Over the long term, the company earlier increased its expected capital expenditure plan, specifically during the 2017-2021 time frame. Also, a stable financial position enables Ameren to maximize shareholder value through the payment of regular dividends and repurchase of shares. Its share price has also outperformed the broader industry in the last one year. However, Ameren Corp's aging infrastructure may pose risks to system reliability and force it to incur unplanned capital expenditures and operating costs. Ameren's generation and delivery facilities are subject to risks associated with breakdown or failure of equipment or processes due to fuel supply or transportation disruptions, accidents and labor disputes or work stoppages by employees.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine raised Ameren from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Ameren in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Bank of America began coverage on Ameren in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a neutral rating and a $62.00 price objective on the stock. UBS Group began coverage on Ameren in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. They set a neutral rating and a $57.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $53.00 price objective on Ameren and gave the company a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $56.20.

Ameren (AEE) opened at $55.25 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $13,361.90, a PE ratio of 21.34, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.58 and a beta of 0.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 0.61 and a quick ratio of 0.40. Ameren has a 12-month low of $51.81 and a 12-month high of $64.89.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 29th. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 14th will be issued a $0.4575 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, March 13th. This represents a $1.83 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.31%. Ameren’s dividend payout ratio is presently 72.62%.

In related news, SVP Gregory L. Nelson sold 12,000 shares of the business’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 transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 36,785 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,305,683.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.38% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AEE. FMR LLC lifted its holdings in Ameren by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 212,312 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $11,608,000 after purchasing an additional 919 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in Ameren by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 564,373 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $30,855,000 after purchasing an additional 7,577 shares in the last quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in Ameren by 4.1% in the 2nd quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 21,074 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,152,000 after purchasing an additional 835 shares in the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank lifted its holdings in Ameren by 25.5% in the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 82,194 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,493,000 after purchasing an additional 16,717 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sentry Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in Ameren by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 19,094 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,044,000 after purchasing an additional 199 shares in the last quarter. 69.99% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Ameren Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Ameren (NYSE:AEE)

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