FirstEnergy (FE) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of FirstEnergy's have gained higher than the industry in the last six months. FirstEnergy’s modernization drive and its ambitious Energizing the Future plan is processing well and is aimed at upgrading its transmission capabilities. Recently, the company completed inspection of its assets and went ahead with necessary maintenance work of its equipments before the upcoming winter. The company is working to transform itself into a regulated company by mid of 2018. If the cold wave continue it will result in higher demand for heating purposes. However, high competition in the wholesale and retail electric markets can affect its top line. In addition, stringent regulatory norms, and intensifying competition are some of the headwinds.”

Several other analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of FirstEnergy in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. They issued a neutral rating and a $34.00 price target on the stock. ValuEngine cut shares of FirstEnergy from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Deutsche Bank upgraded shares of FirstEnergy from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. KeyCorp reiterated a hold rating on shares of FirstEnergy in a report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Mizuho reiterated a hold rating and issued a $30.50 price target on shares of FirstEnergy in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. FirstEnergy has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $35.32.

Shares of FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) traded down $0.17 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $30.07. 3,989,083 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,290,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.29, a current ratio of 0.69 and a quick ratio of 0.56. FirstEnergy has a 1 year low of $27.93 and a 1 year high of $35.22. The company has a market capitalization of $13,380.00, a PE ratio of -2.55 and a beta of 0.25.

FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $3.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.72 billion. FirstEnergy had a negative net margin of 35.99% and a positive return on equity of 19.29%. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.90 earnings per share. analysts forecast that FirstEnergy will post 3 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Sandy Spring Bank lifted its position in FirstEnergy by 1.3% during the second quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 5,141 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $150,000 after buying an additional 66 shares during the period. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS lifted its position in FirstEnergy by 0.4% during the second quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 32,967 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $961,000 after buying an additional 145 shares during the period. Sentry Investment Management LLC lifted its position in FirstEnergy by 0.5% during the second quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 35,060 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,022,000 after buying an additional 185 shares during the period. Norinchukin Bank The lifted its position in FirstEnergy by 0.7% during the second quarter. Norinchukin Bank The now owns 36,293 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,058,000 after buying an additional 240 shares during the period. Finally, National Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in FirstEnergy by 4.8% during the second quarter. National Asset Management Inc. now owns 8,245 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $242,000 after buying an additional 379 shares during the period. 82.32% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About FirstEnergy

FirstEnergy Corp. is a holding company. The Company is engaged in holding, directly or indirectly, all of the outstanding equity of its principal subsidiaries. Its segments include Regulated Distribution, Regulated Transmission, Competitive Energy Services (CES) and Corporate/Other. As of December 31, 2016, the Regulated Distribution segment distributed electricity through the Company’s 10 utility operating companies, serving approximately six million customers, and purchased power for its provider of last resort (POLR), standard offer service (SOS), standard offer service (SSO) and default service requirements in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

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