The Laclede Group Inc. (NYSE:SR) shares saw strong trading volume on Thursday . 335,391 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 81% from the previous session’s volume of 185,585 shares.The stock last traded at $64.00 and had previously closed at $64.70.

A number of analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised The Laclede Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. Morgan Stanley assumed coverage on The Laclede Group in a research report on Thursday, May 5th. They issued an “underweight” rating for the company. Ladenburg Thalmann assumed coverage on The Laclede Group in a research report on Friday, August 19th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $69.00 target price for the company. Finally, TheStreet raised The Laclede Group from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 28th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The Laclede Group has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $67.00.

The company has a market capitalization of $2.92 billion and a P/E ratio of 20.08. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $67.66 and a 200-day moving average price of $66.49.

The Laclede Group (NYSE:SR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.33 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.27 by $0.06. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.25 EPS. The company had revenue of $249.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $290.50 million. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that The Laclede Group Inc. will post $3.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 4th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 12th will be paid a dividend of $0.49 per share. This represents a $1.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.06%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 8th.

Spire Inc, formerly The Laclede Group, Inc is a public utility holding company for Laclede Gas Company (Laclede Gas or the Missouri Utilities). It operates through two segments: Gas Utility and Gas Marketing. The Gas Utility segment includes the regulated operations of Laclede Gas and Alabama Gas Corporation (Alagasco or the Alabama Utility) (collectively, the Utilities).

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