Spire Inc. (SR) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Spire Inc. (NYSE:SR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday, July 12th. They currently have $77.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Spire Inc. is a public utility company which is engaged in the purchase, retail distribution, sale and marketing of natural gas. Its operating segment consists of Gas Utility and Gas Marketing. Gas Utility segment includes the regulated operations of Laclede Gas and Alabama Gas Corporation. Gas Marketing segment is engaged in the marketing of natural gas and related activities on a non-regulated basis. Spire Inc, formerly known as The Laclede Group Inc., is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. “

Separately, Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Spire from $70.00 to $71.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research note on Monday, May 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $71.43.

Spire (SR) traded down 1.31% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $75.05. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 169,155 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.62 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.68 and a beta of 0.33. Spire has a 52 week low of $59.54 and a 52 week high of $76.20. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $71.68 and a 200 day moving average of $68.70.

Spire (NYSE:SR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.39 by $0.05. Spire had a net margin of 9.12% and a return on equity of 8.77%. The company had revenue of $323.50 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $293.99 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.33 earnings per share. Spire’s revenue was up 29.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Spire will post $3.57 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 3rd. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 11th will be paid a dividend of $0.525 per share. This represents a $2.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.80%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 8th. Spire’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 60.17%.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of SR. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust raised its stake in shares of Spire by 34.2% in the first quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 1,597 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 407 shares during the period. Bruderman Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Spire during the second quarter valued at about $124,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in Spire by 13.0% in the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,793 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 206 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in Spire by 8.6% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,825 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 144 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. raised its stake in Spire by 30.7% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,147 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $149,000 after buying an additional 504 shares during the last quarter. 74.68% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Spire Company Profile

Spire Inc, formerly The Laclede Group, Inc, is engaged to transform its business and pursue growth by growing its gas utility business through prudent investment in infrastructure upgrades and organic growth initiatives; acquire and integrate gas utilities; modernize its gas assets, and invest in innovation.

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