Alliant Energy (LNT) Raised to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Alliant Energy (NYSE:LNT) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “In the last year, Alliant Energy’s shares have lost narrower than the industry it belongs to. Alliant Energy’s fourth-quarter earnings per share were better than previous year due to positive impact from tax reforms. Alliant Energy has plans to invest substantially over the next four years to add natural gas and renewable assets to its generation portfolio. Further, Alliant Energy will upgrade some of its coal facilities to lower carbon emission from its generating plants. However, weather variations and dependence on third-party electric transmission systems remain headwinds. The company is also subject to stringent regulations and fulfilling the new conditions could further increase operating expenses.”
A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on LNT. Guggenheim restated a hold rating and set a $43.00 target price on shares of Alliant Energy in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Wells Fargo & Co lowered shares of Alliant Energy from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research report on Monday, December 18th. Finally, UBS Group started coverage on shares of Alliant Energy in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. They set a neutral rating and a $40.00 price target on the stock. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Alliant Energy currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $42.83.
Alliant Energy (NYSE:LNT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 22nd. The utilities provider reported $0.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.36 by ($0.03). The company had revenue of $856.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $896.94 million. Alliant Energy had a return on equity of 11.11% and a net margin of 13.82%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.28 EPS. research analysts forecast that Alliant Energy will post 2.11 earnings per share for the current year.
Alliant Energy declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Monday, January 15th that allows the company to buyback outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the utilities provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 31st were given a dividend of $0.335 per share. This represents a $1.34 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.51%. This is a positive change from Alliant Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, January 30th. Alliant Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 67.68%.
Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Landaas & Co. WI ADV increased its position in Alliant Energy by 77.3% during the fourth quarter. Landaas & Co. WI ADV now owns 6,422 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $274,000 after acquiring an additional 2,800 shares during the period. Cohen & Steers Inc. increased its holdings in Alliant Energy by 12.0% in the 3rd quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 2,166,123 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $90,046,000 after buying an additional 232,090 shares during the period. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its holdings in Alliant Energy by 1.4% in the 3rd quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 483,500 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $20,099,000 after buying an additional 6,500 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its holdings in Alliant Energy by 18.0% in the 3rd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 136,862 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,689,000 after buying an additional 20,876 shares during the period. Finally, Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its holdings in Alliant Energy by 7.4% in the 3rd quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 182,881 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $7,602,000 after buying an additional 12,600 shares during the period. 68.53% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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About Alliant Energy
Alliant Energy Corporation operates as a regulated investor-owned public utility holding company. The Company’s segments include Utility and Non-regulated, Parent and Other. The Utility segment includes the operations of Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL) and Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), which serve retail customers in Iowa and Wisconsin.
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