American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “American Electric's shares outperformed its industry in the past six months. Its newly announced investment strategy includes incremental investment in renewable generation projects throughout the United States. This provides stability to the company’s revenue stream. American Electric has a stable customer base of approximately 5.4 million spread over 11 states. This provides cushion to the company from lower sales in any particular service area. American Electric also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000-miles of distribution lines. However, it is exposed to environmental risks, since its power plants produce large quantities of nitrogen, sulfur, mercury and carbon dioxide. Also, in order to meet the environmental regulations, the company projects additional investments of $2.2-$2.8 billion in the 2017–2025 time period, which could weigh on the company’s finances, going ahead.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Wells Fargo & Co upped their price target on American Electric Power from $77.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, September 17th. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of American Electric Power in a report on Wednesday, September 12th. Guggenheim upgraded American Electric Power from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, September 10th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Citigroup increased their target price on American Electric Power from $71.00 to $72.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, September 10th. Finally, Bank of America increased their target price on American Electric Power from $76.00 to $78.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 26th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $76.21.

Shares of AEP traded down $0.02 on Monday, reaching $77.02. The stock had a trading volume of 111,073 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,267,817. The stock has a market cap of $37.98 billion and a P/E ratio of 20.93. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.10, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.46. American Electric Power has a twelve month low of $62.71 and a twelve month high of $78.07.

American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The utilities provider reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.21 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $4.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.26 billion. American Electric Power had a return on equity of 10.78% and a net margin of 12.14%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.10 EPS. Research analysts expect that American Electric Power will post 3.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other American Electric Power news, insider Paul Chodak III sold 847 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.47, for a total transaction of $64,770.09. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 0.16% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AEP. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of American Electric Power by 413.8% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,250,095 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $155,819,000 after buying an additional 1,812,198 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors raised its position in shares of American Electric Power by 9.1% in the 3rd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 18,496,658 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,311,043,000 after buying an additional 1,548,554 shares during the period. Ceredex Value Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of American Electric Power in the 3rd quarter worth $66,056,000. Commonwealth Bank of Australia raised its position in shares of American Electric Power by 127.5% in the 3rd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 1,638,898 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $116,151,000 after buying an additional 918,394 shares during the period. Finally, Jennison Associates LLC raised its position in shares of American Electric Power by 25.4% in the 2nd quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 4,308,696 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $298,377,000 after buying an additional 872,838 shares during the period. 72.55% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About American Electric Power

American Electric Power Company, Inc, an electric public utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity for sale to retail and wholesale customers in the United States. The company generates electricity using coal and lignite, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, solar, wind, and other energy sources.

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