Eversource Energy (ES) Cut to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months shares of Eversource Energy have underperformed its industry. Eversource Energy’s prospects will be hurt by the ongoing delay in the approval of Northern Pass project, dependence on third party, stringent regulation, and underperformance of its transmission and distribution system due to breakdown are concerns. Refusal by Connecticut Water will hurt its plans to expand water business through acquisition. However, Eversource’s investments in renewable energy generation, expansion of transmission and distribution systems will help it to provide reliable services to its customers. Start of the new water segment will diversify the source of its revenues. Its regulated investment plans will help boost earnings per share by 5-7% over the 2019-2023 time frame from the 2018 level.”

Several other research firms have also issued reports on ES. Bank of America lowered shares of Eversource Energy from a neutral rating to an underperform rating and set a $68.00 target price for the company. in a report on Monday, February 25th. Scotiabank restated a sell rating and issued a $63.00 target price on shares of Eversource Energy in a report on Thursday, February 21st. Williams Capital restated a buy rating on shares of Eversource Energy in a report on Monday, March 18th. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Eversource Energy from $69.00 to $71.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Tuesday, February 12th. Finally, Guggenheim lowered shares of Eversource Energy from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Friday, February 22nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $69.60.

ES stock opened at $70.15 on Tuesday. Eversource Energy has a 52 week low of $52.76 and a 52 week high of $72.26. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.07, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.50. The firm has a market cap of $22.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.68 and a beta of 0.31.

Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 20th. The utilities provider reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by ($0.02). Eversource Energy had a net margin of 12.23% and a return on equity of 9.18%. The business had revenue of $2.03 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.71 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.75 EPS. Eversource Energy’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts anticipate that Eversource Energy will post 3.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 29th. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 5th were paid a $0.535 dividend. This represents a $2.14 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.05%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, March 4th. This is an increase from Eversource Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.51. Eversource Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 65.24%.

In related news, insider Sanford Cloud, Jr. sold 1,042 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.87, for a total value of $71,762.54. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Gregory B. Butler sold 11,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.63, for a total transaction of $789,245.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 111,201 shares of company stock worth $7,727,360 in the last ninety days. 0.37% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BTIM Corp. increased its position in Eversource Energy by 5.0% during the 1st quarter. BTIM Corp. now owns 912,769 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $64,761,000 after purchasing an additional 43,338 shares during the period. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC increased its position in Eversource Energy by 24.9% during the 1st quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 5,459 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $387,000 after purchasing an additional 1,089 shares during the period. Raymond James Trust N.A. purchased a new position in Eversource Energy during the 1st quarter valued at about $318,000. Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its position in Eversource Energy by 1.0% during the 1st quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 147,600 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $10,472,000 after purchasing an additional 1,467 shares during the period. Finally, Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV purchased a new position in Eversource Energy during the 1st quarter valued at about $660,000. 73.99% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Eversource Energy

Eversource Energy, a public utility holding company, engages in the energy delivery business. The company operates in four segments: Electric Distribution, Electric Transmission, Natural Gas Distribution, and Water Distribution. It is involved in the transmission and distribution of electricity; and distribution of natural gas.

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