National Grid PLC (NYSE:NGG) shares saw strong trading volume on Thursday . 1,284,993 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 160% from the previous session’s volume of 494,989 shares.The stock last traded at $71.88 and had previously closed at $71.75.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on NGG. Citigroup Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of National Grid PLC in a report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of National Grid PLC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $83.00 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, June 1st. Royal Bank Of Canada cut shares of National Grid PLC from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Beaufort Securities reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of National Grid PLC in a report on Friday, May 20th. Finally, RBC Capital Markets cut shares of National Grid PLC from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $81.50.

The stock has a market capitalization of $53.06 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.56. The company’s 50 day moving average is $72.53 and its 200 day moving average is $71.09.

The company also recently declared a dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 10th. Investors of record on Friday, June 3rd will be issued a dividend of $2.024 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 1st.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Eaton Vance Management increased its position in shares of National Grid PLC by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 15,353 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,068,000 after buying an additional 294 shares in the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of National Grid PLC by 46.2% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 25,670 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,785,000 after buying an additional 8,111 shares in the last quarter. Finally, US Bancorp DE increased its position in shares of National Grid PLC by 17.5% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 253,498 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,628,000 after buying an additional 37,721 shares in the last quarter.

National Grid Plc is an electricity and gas utility company. The UK Electricity Transmission includes high voltage electricity transmission networks in Great Britain. Its UK Gas Transmission provides the gas transmission network in Great Britain and UK liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage activities. The Company’s UK Gas Distribution includes four of the eight regional networks of Great Britain’s gas distribution system.

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