Morgan Stanley Downgrades Ameren (AEE) to Underweight

Ameren (NYSE:AEE) was downgraded by investment analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. They presently have a $61.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 0.28% from the company’s previous close.

AEE has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut Ameren from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Bank of America assumed coverage on Ameren in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $62.00 price objective for the company. ValuEngine upgraded Ameren from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. BidaskClub upgraded Ameren from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 26th. Finally, KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Ameren in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $56.80.

Shares of Ameren (NYSE:AEE) traded down $0.42 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $60.83. 1,526,700 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,408,844. Ameren has a 52 week low of $50.36 and a 52 week high of $64.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92, a current ratio of 0.61 and a quick ratio of 0.40. The firm has a market cap of $14,861.38, a P/E ratio of 23.74, a PEG ratio of 3.28 and a beta of 0.36.

Ameren (NYSE:AEE) last issued its earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.31 by ($0.07). The firm had revenue of $1.72 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.87 billion. Ameren had a net margin of 10.03% and a return on equity of 8.61%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.52 EPS. equities research analysts predict that Ameren will post 2.8 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Ameren news, SVP Gregory L. Nelson sold 12,000 shares of Ameren stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.68, for a total value of $752,160.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 36,785 shares in the company, valued at $2,305,683.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.38% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Swiss National Bank boosted its stake in shares of Ameren by 2.7% in the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 994,693 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $54,380,000 after purchasing an additional 26,500 shares in the last quarter. Keybank National Association OH increased its holdings in shares of Ameren by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. Keybank National Association OH now owns 556,239 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $30,410,000 after purchasing an additional 13,022 shares in the last quarter. ETRADE Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ameren in the 2nd quarter worth $854,000. Rhumbline Advisers boosted its stake in shares of Ameren by 3.5% in the 3rd quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 466,705 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $26,994,000 after buying an additional 15,967 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Captrust Financial Advisors purchased a new position in shares of Ameren in the 2nd quarter worth $523,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.54% of the company’s stock.

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About Ameren

Ameren Corporation is a utility holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois and Ameren Transmission Company (ATXI). It operates through four segments. The Ameren Missouri segment includes all of the operations of Ameren Missouri. The Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution segment consists of the electric distribution business of Ameren Illinois.

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