El Paso Electric Co. (NYSE:EE) gapped up prior to trading on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $46.24, but opened at $46.83. El Paso Electric shares last traded at $47.74, with a volume of 210,638 shares.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut El Paso Electric from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, March 21st. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $47.00 price target (up previously from $44.00) on shares of El Paso Electric in a research note on Saturday, May 7th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. raised El Paso Electric from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $30.42 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, March 24th.

The company has a market cap of $1.92 billion and a PE ratio of 26.44. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $46.10 and a 200 day moving average price of $43.33.

El Paso Electric (NYSE:EE) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, May 4th. The company reported ($0.14) EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.07) by $0.07. The firm earned $113.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $114.80 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.09 EPS. Equities analysts expect that El Paso Electric Co. will post $2.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 30th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 15th were issued a dividend of $0.31 per share. This represents a $1.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.61%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, June 13th. This is a positive change from El Paso Electric’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30.

In other news, Director Charles Yamarone sold 5,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.16, for a total transaction of $248,380.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 6,500 shares in the company, valued at $293,540. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website.

Other hedge funds have made changes to their positions in the company. Russell Frank Co boosted its stake in shares of El Paso Electric by 14.9% in the fourth quarter. Russell Frank Co now owns 72,833 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,858,000 after buying an additional 9,418 shares during the last quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of El Paso Electric by 10.9% in the fourth quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 45,444 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,750,000 after buying an additional 4,455 shares during the last quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of El Paso Electric by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 74,836 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,881,000 after buying an additional 1,165 shares during the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers boosted its stake in shares of El Paso Electric by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 72,784 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,802,000 after buying an additional 925 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Comerica Bank boosted its stake in shares of El Paso Electric by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 41,243 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,576,000 after buying an additional 332 shares during the last quarter.

El Paso Electric Company is engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in an area of approximately 10,000 square miles in west Texas and southern New Mexico. The Company owns or has ownership interests in several electrical generating facilities providing it with a generating capability of over 2,055 Megawatts.

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