Peabody Energy (BTU) Upgraded to “Strong-Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $49.00 price target on the coal producer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Peabody Energy Corporation is a coal company. It provides voice in advocating for sustainable mining, energy access and clean coal technologies. The company serves metallurgical and thermal coal customers primarily in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, Illinois, Indiana and Australia. Peabody Energy Corporation is based in St Louis, United States. “

BTU has been the topic of several other reports. B. Riley lifted their target price on shares of Peabody Energy from $52.00 to $54.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 19th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Peabody Energy from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, August 2nd. Finally, MKM Partners reiterated a buy rating and set a $53.00 target price on shares of Peabody Energy in a research report on Wednesday, June 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $46.88.

NYSE BTU opened at $41.93 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 2.28, a quick ratio of 2.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38. The firm has a market capitalization of $5.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.88 and a beta of 0.74. Peabody Energy has a 52-week low of $28.08 and a 52-week high of $47.84.

Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 24th. The coal producer reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.05 by ($0.12). The company had revenue of $1.31 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.36 billion. Peabody Energy had a return on equity of 24.59% and a net margin of 15.71%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned ($0.18) earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Peabody Energy will post 4.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider George John Schuller, Jr. sold 12,312 shares of Peabody Energy stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.13, for a total transaction of $506,392.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 55,627 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,287,938.51. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Charles F. Meintjes sold 35,000 shares of Peabody Energy stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.10, for a total transaction of $1,473,500.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 170,910 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,195,311. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.42% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Northern Trust Corp lifted its holdings in Peabody Energy by 9.8% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,028,706 shares of the coal producer’s stock valued at $46,785,000 after purchasing an additional 92,053 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of Peabody Energy by 6.9% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 498,055 shares of the coal producer’s stock worth $22,652,000 after acquiring an additional 32,245 shares during the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Peabody Energy by 169.3% in the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,456 shares of the coal producer’s stock worth $248,000 after acquiring an additional 3,430 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio bought a new position in shares of Peabody Energy in the second quarter worth about $326,000. Finally, Jafra Capital Management LP bought a new position in shares of Peabody Energy in the second quarter worth about $2,729,000. 99.30% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Peabody Energy

Peabody Energy Corporation engages in coal mining business. The company operates through six segments: Powder River Basin Mining, Midwestern U.S. Mining, Western U.S. Mining, Australian Metallurgical Mining, Australian Thermal Mining, and Trading and Brokerage. It is involved in mining, preparation, and sale of thermal coal primarily to electric utilities; and metallurgical coal that include hard coking coal, semi-hard coking coal, semi-soft coking coal, and low-volatile pulverized coal injection for industrial customers.

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