Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Scana Corp. (NYSE:SCG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has $81.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “SCANA Corp. is a stable, relatively strong and regulated electric utility, supported by regional demographics and a favorable electric utility rate.  SCANA is well positioned in a positive regulatory environment, having a low risk business with outstanding customer growth and operational efficiency. The company also has an attractive and consistent dividend payout. Going forward, we expect modest growth to continue, thanks to the utility’s improving electric margins and rate increases. We are also bullish about the steady progress of new electric generation plants and nuclear expansion projects.  Consequently, we think SCANA offers substantial upside potential from the current price levels and view it as an attractive investment.”

SCG has been the subject of several other research reports. Williams Capital reiterated a buy rating on shares of Scana Corp. in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Morgan Stanley lowered Scana Corp. from an equal weight rating to an underweight rating and set a $67.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. Finally, Mizuho lifted their target price on Scana Corp. from $74.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $71.58.

Shares of Scana Corp. (NYSE:SCG) opened at 74.53 on Wednesday. Scana Corp. has a 12-month low of $52.43 and a 12-month high of $76.41. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $72.03 and a 200 day moving average price of $70.97. The firm has a market cap of $10.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.18 and a beta of 0.22.

Scana Corp. (NYSE:SCG) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.74. The company earned $905 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $986.95 million. Scana Corp. had a return on equity of 9.82% and a net margin of 12.88%. The business’s revenue was down 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.69 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Scana Corp. will post $3.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, October 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 12th will be paid a dividend of $0.575 per share. This represents a $2.30 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 8th. Scana Corp.’s payout ratio is currently 62.16%.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund acquired a new stake in shares of Scana Corp. during the second quarter valued at $437,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems acquired a new stake in shares of Scana Corp. during the second quarter valued at $919,000. Mason Street Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Scana Corp. during the second quarter valued at $1,456,000. Tobam acquired a new stake in shares of Scana Corp. during the second quarter valued at $1,194,000. Finally, Sanctuary Wealth Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Scana Corp. by 2.7% in the second quarter. Sanctuary Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 48,266 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,652,000 after buying an additional 1,270 shares during the last quarter. 64.84% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Scana Corp. Company Profile

SCANA Corporation is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity, and the purchase, sale and transportation of natural gas in North Carolina and South Carolina. It operates through segments, including Electric Operations, Gas Distribution, Retail Gas Marketing, Energy Marketing and All Other.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SCG

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