Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of FirstEnergy Corporation (NYSE:FE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of FirstEnergy's have gained higher than the industry in the last three months. FirstEnergy’s modernization drive and new generation asset additions will further strengthen its service reliability and lead to customer retention. This has led to its ambitious “Energizing the Future” plan aimed at upgrading and expanding its transmission capabilities. FirstEnergy is also gaining from industrial load growth. The company is working to transform itself into a regulated company by mid of 2018. It has secured regulatory approvals for base rate increase in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio which are expected to boost its top line in 2017. However, FirstEnergy’s higher debt/capital ratio compared with peers may further drive up its cost of capital in the rising interest rate environment. In addition, stringent regulatory norms, mild weather and intensifying competition are some of the headwinds.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a hold rating and issued a $34.00 price target (up from $31.00) on shares of FirstEnergy Corporation in a report on Monday, July 31st. BidaskClub raised shares of FirstEnergy Corporation from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Citigroup Inc. cut their price target on shares of FirstEnergy Corporation from $32.00 to $31.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. ValuEngine raised shares of FirstEnergy Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Monday, August 7th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $38.00 price target on shares of FirstEnergy Corporation and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Thirteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $34.02.

FirstEnergy Corporation (NYSE FE) opened at 31.15 on Monday. The stock’s market capitalization is $13.84 billion. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $32.26 and its 200 day moving average is $30.69. FirstEnergy Corporation has a 12-month low of $27.93 and a 12-month high of $34.96.

FirstEnergy Corporation (NYSE:FE) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The utilities provider reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.61. The business had revenue of $3.30 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.38 billion. FirstEnergy Corporation had a negative net margin of 35.59% and a positive return on equity of 15.41%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 3.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.56 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that FirstEnergy Corporation will post $2.81 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, November 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.36 per share. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.62%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 6th. FirstEnergy Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is presently -12.31%.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Frontier Investment Mgmt Co. lifted its stake in FirstEnergy Corporation by 11.1% during the second quarter. Frontier Investment Mgmt Co. now owns 190,683 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,560,000 after buying an additional 19,127 shares in the last quarter. W. E. Donoghue & Co. LLC acquired a new position in shares of FirstEnergy Corporation in the 2nd quarter valued at about $15,980,000. Griffin Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of FirstEnergy Corporation in the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,166,000. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of FirstEnergy Corporation by 3,345.0% in the 2nd quarter. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,829,980 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $53,362,000 after purchasing an additional 1,776,860 shares during the period. Finally, Lord Abbett & CO. LLC increased its holdings in shares of FirstEnergy Corporation by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 164,600 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,800,000 after purchasing an additional 2,800 shares during the period. 79.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

FirstEnergy Corporation Company Profile

FirstEnergy Corp. is a holding company. The Company is engaged in holding, directly or indirectly, all of the outstanding equity of its principal subsidiaries. Its segments include Regulated Distribution, Regulated Transmission, Competitive Energy Services (CES) and Corporate/Other. As of December 31, 2016, the Regulated Distribution segment distributed electricity through the Company’s 10 utility operating companies, serving approximately six million customers, and purchased power for its provider of last resort (POLR), standard offer service (SOS), standard offer service (SSO) and default service requirements in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

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