Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Fortis (NYSE:FTS) to Hold

Fortis (NYSE:FTS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Monday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Fortis, Inc. is engaged in electric and gas utility business. The Company offers regulated utilities comprised of electric and gas as well as engages in non-regulated hydroelectric operations. It operates primarily in Canada, United States and Caribbean. Fortis, Inc. is based in St John’s, Canada. “

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on FTS. Scotiabank cut their price objective on shares of Fortis from $63.00 to $61.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 27th. National Bank Financial cut their price target on shares of Fortis and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, January 27th. Raymond James downgraded shares of Fortis from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $58.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, April 28th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada dropped their target price on Fortis from $60.00 to $59.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, February 16th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $58.25.

Shares of FTS stock opened at $44.48 on Monday. Fortis has a 1 year low of $35.53 and a 1 year high of $44.96. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.61. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $43.70 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $41.46. The company has a market cap of $20.88 billion, a PE ratio of 22.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.06 and a beta of 0.22.

Fortis (NYSE:FTS) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 11th. The utilities provider reported $0.69 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.17. Fortis had a return on equity of 6.00% and a net margin of 13.88%. The firm had revenue of $1.80 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.40 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.62 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Fortis will post 1.97 EPS for the current year.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Arkadios Wealth Advisors boosted its holdings in shares of Fortis by 166.0% in the first quarter. Arkadios Wealth Advisors now owns 665 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $28,000 after purchasing an additional 415 shares during the period. Pacer Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in Fortis during the 4th quarter valued at $157,000. Veriti Management LLC bought a new stake in Fortis during the 4th quarter valued at $163,000. Captrust Financial Advisors lifted its holdings in shares of Fortis by 60.5% in the 4th quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 5,385 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $220,000 after buying an additional 2,030 shares during the period. Finally, Advisor Partners LLC grew its position in shares of Fortis by 5.6% during the 3rd quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 6,321 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $258,000 after buying an additional 333 shares in the last quarter. 47.82% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Fortis Company Profile

Fortis Inc operates as an electric and gas utility company in Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean countries. It generates, transmits, and distributes electricity to approximately 433,000 retail customers in southeastern Arizona; and 98,000 retail customers in Arizona's Mohave and Santa Cruz counties with an aggregate capacity of 3,233 megawatts (MW), including 59 MW of solar capacity.

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