WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $77.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 11.16% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “In the past 12 months, WEC Energy’s shares have gained against the industry’s decline. Improving economic condition in service territory is a positive for WEC Energy. The company at present is serving more customers than the year-ago level. Its long-term investments in infrastructure projects will help to meet higher demand and improve service reliability. Strategic acquisitions are going to be accretive to WEC Energy’s performance. The company will benefit from the completion of the Modernization plan in 2021. Major chunk of its electricity production is generated from coal fired units and some coal units could attract emission regulation, making it uneconomical to maintain and operate.The Company’s dependence on financial performance of its subsidiaries to meet its obligation is a concern.”

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on WEC. Wells Fargo & Co raised their target price on WEC Energy Group from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, September 17th. Citigroup set a $66.00 target price on WEC Energy Group and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 3rd. Scotia Howard Weill started coverage on WEC Energy Group in a research report on Tuesday, September 4th. They set a “sector outperform” rating and a $72.00 target price for the company. Howard Weil started coverage on WEC Energy Group in a research report on Tuesday, September 4th. They set a “sector outperform” rating and a $72.00 target price for the company. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group raised WEC Energy Group from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. WEC Energy Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $70.00.

Shares of NYSE:WEC opened at $69.27 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.59, a quick ratio of 0.44 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95. WEC Energy Group has a 1-year low of $58.48 and a 1-year high of $70.22. The firm has a market cap of $21.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.06, a P/E/G ratio of 4.87 and a beta of 0.02.

WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.06. WEC Energy Group had a return on equity of 11.18% and a net margin of 16.56%. The business had revenue of $1.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.57 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.63 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that WEC Energy Group will post 3.32 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Barbara L. Bowles sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.45, for a total transaction of $166,125.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Frederick D. Kuester sold 168,790 shares of WEC Energy Group stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.94, for a total value of $11,298,802.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.94% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Seven Eight Capital LP purchased a new stake in WEC Energy Group in the 3rd quarter worth about $738,000. Huntington National Bank increased its holdings in WEC Energy Group by 4.3% in the 3rd quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 148,726 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $9,929,000 after acquiring an additional 6,134 shares during the last quarter. Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. purchased a new stake in WEC Energy Group in the 3rd quarter worth about $1,137,000. Oakbrook Investments LLC increased its holdings in WEC Energy Group by 39.9% in the 3rd quarter. Oakbrook Investments LLC now owns 17,167 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,146,000 after acquiring an additional 4,900 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Aperio Group LLC increased its holdings in WEC Energy Group by 7.8% in the 3rd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 247,212 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $16,504,000 after acquiring an additional 17,975 shares during the last quarter. 73.36% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About WEC Energy Group

WEC Energy Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides regulated natural gas and electricity, and nonregulated renewable energy services in the United States. The company operates through six segments: Wisconsin, Illinois, Other States, Electric Transmission, Non-Utility Energy Infrastructure, and Corporate and Other.

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