Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Great Plains Energy Inc (NYSE:GXP) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Wednesday morning. The firm currently has $35.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Great Plains Energy Incorporated engages in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to customers located in all or portions of numerous counties in western Missouri and eastern Kansas. Customers include residences, commercial firms, and industrials, municipalities and other electric utilities. “

GXP has been the subject of several other research reports. Wells Fargo & Company raised shares of Great Plains Energy from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. BidaskClub raised shares of Great Plains Energy from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 14th. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised shares of Great Plains Energy from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and lifted their price target for the company from $31.00 to $32.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. KeyCorp reissued a hold rating on shares of Great Plains Energy in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, SunTrust Banks, Inc. reissued a hold rating and issued a $30.00 price target on shares of Great Plains Energy in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $31.43.

Great Plains Energy (NYSE GXP) opened at 31.79 on Wednesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $30.78 and a 200 day moving average of $29.93. Great Plains Energy has a 12-month low of $25.85 and a 12-month high of $32.09. The firm has a market cap of $6.85 billion, a PE ratio of 37.71 and a beta of 0.44.

Great Plains Energy (NYSE:GXP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 9th. The utilities provider reported $0.43 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.47 by ($0.04). The company had revenue of $682.60 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $677.00 million. Great Plains Energy had a net margin of 8.00% and a return on equity of 5.62%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.55 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Great Plains Energy will post $1.60 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 20th. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 29th were paid a $0.275 dividend. This represents a $1.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.46%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 25th. Great Plains Energy’s dividend payout ratio is currently 105.77%.

In other news, SVP Heather A. Humphrey sold 3,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.86, for a total transaction of $108,010.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Lori A. Wright sold 7,668 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.54, for a total value of $234,180.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 27,391 shares of company stock worth $838,626 over the last 90 days. 0.41% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in GXP. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its position in shares of Great Plains Energy by 17.9% during the first quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 3,420 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 520 shares during the period. Proficio Capital Partners LLC increased its position in shares of Great Plains Energy by 312.2% in the first quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 3,710 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $107,000 after purchasing an additional 2,810 shares during the last quarter. Ffcm LLC increased its position in shares of Great Plains Energy by 171.5% in the second quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 4,018 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $118,000 after purchasing an additional 2,538 shares during the last quarter. First Command Bank increased its position in shares of Great Plains Energy by 100.0% in the second quarter. First Command Bank now owns 4,400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $128,000 after purchasing an additional 2,200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Advisory Services Network LLC increased its position in shares of Great Plains Energy by 0.9% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 4,793 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $140,000 after purchasing an additional 45 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.90% of the company’s stock.

About Great Plains Energy

Great Plains Energy Incorporated (Great Plains Energy) is a utility holding company. The Company operates through electric utility segment. The Company’s subsidiaries with operations include Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L) and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company (GMO). KCP&L is an integrated, regulated electric utility that provides electricity to customers primarily in the states of Missouri and Kansas.

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