Ameren (NYSE:AEE) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Ameren (NYSE:AEE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Friday, January 5th.

According to Zacks, “Ameren Corp's aging infrastructure may pose risks to system reliability and force it to incur unplanned capital expenditures and operating costs. Stringent environmental regulations and operational risks might be potential growth deterrents.  Also its stock is overvalued compared to its historical levels in terms of EV/EBITDA ratio. However, the company is investing heavily to upgrade its aging infrastructure.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on AEE. ValuEngine raised Ameren from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. Bank of America initiated coverage on Ameren in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $62.00 price objective for the company. KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Ameren in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of Ameren from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $61.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Ameren presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $56.80.

Ameren (NYSE:AEE) traded down $0.63 on Friday, reaching $55.52. The company had a trading volume of 1,385,138 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,245,706. The stock has a market capitalization of $13,623.94, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.03, a P/E/G ratio of 2.66 and a beta of 0.37. The company has a current ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92. Ameren has a 12 month low of $51.35 and a 12 month high of $64.89.

Ameren (NYSE:AEE) last posted its earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.31 by ($0.07). Ameren had a return on equity of 8.61% and a net margin of 10.03%. The firm had revenue of $1.72 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.87 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.52 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Ameren will post 2.8 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, SVP Gregory L. Nelson sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.68, for a total transaction of $752,160.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 36,785 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,305,683.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.38% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its position in shares of Ameren by 463.6% during the 3rd quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 3,462,798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $200,288,000 after purchasing an additional 2,848,400 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its holdings in Ameren by 6,693.2% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,950,938 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $106,658,000 after buying an additional 1,922,219 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Ameren by 24.8% in the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 2,972,940 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $162,535,000 after purchasing an additional 590,243 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its holdings in shares of Ameren by 452.5% in the 3rd quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 678,763 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $39,260,000 after purchasing an additional 555,900 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its holdings in shares of Ameren by 12.9% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 4,478,768 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $259,053,000 after purchasing an additional 511,854 shares in the last quarter. 70.44% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Ameren Company Profile

Ameren Corporation is a utility holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois and Ameren Transmission Company (ATXI). It operates through four segments. The Ameren Missouri segment includes all of the operations of Ameren Missouri. The Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution segment consists of the electric distribution business of Ameren Illinois.

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