Empire District Electric Co. (NYSE:EDE) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $34.04 and last traded at $33.99, with a volume of 67,027 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $33.99.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. TD Securities reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $22.00 price target (down from $24.00) on shares of Empire District Electric in a research report on Friday, April 15th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Empire District Electric from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 8th. Ladenburg Thalmann downgraded shares of Empire District Electric from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, April 29th. Raymond James Financial Inc. reiterated a “market perform” rating and issued a $24.00 price target (down from $26.00) on shares of Empire District Electric in a research report on Thursday, June 23rd. Finally, Barclays PLC downgraded shares of Empire District Electric from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $24.00 to $19.00 in a research report on Friday, July 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Empire District Electric currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $25.80.

The stock has a market cap of $1.49 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.73. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $33.78 and its 200 day moving average price is $32.35.

Empire District Electric (NYSE:EDE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $0.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.30 by $0.08. Equities analysts anticipate that Empire District Electric Co. will post $1.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 1st were given a dividend of $0.26 per share. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.06%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 27th.

Several hedge funds have made changes to their positions in the stock. American Investment Services Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Empire District Electric by 14.5% in the fourth quarter. American Investment Services Inc. now owns 50,948 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,430,000 after buying an additional 6,436 shares during the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund boosted its stake in Empire District Electric by 4.4% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 51,381 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,442,000 after buying an additional 2,155 shares in the last quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System boosted its stake in Empire District Electric by 10.2% in the fourth quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 52,330 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,469,000 after buying an additional 4,831 shares in the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors boosted its stake in Empire District Electric by 26.0% in the fourth quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 54,886 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,541,000 after buying an additional 11,324 shares in the last quarter. Finally, I.G. Investment Management LTD. boosted its stake in Empire District Electric by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. I.G. Investment Management LTD. now owns 58,478 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,641,000 after buying an additional 152 shares in the last quarter.

The Empire District Electric Company is a regulated utility company. The Company is engaged in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity. It provides its services with in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. It operates its businesses in three segments: electric, gas and other.

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