FirstEnergy (FE) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of FirstEnergy's have gained higher than the industry in the last six months. FirstEnergy’s modernization drive and its ambitious Energizing the Future plan is processing well and is aimed at upgrading its transmission capabilities. Recently, the company completed inspection of its assets and went ahead with necessary maintenance work of its equipments before the upcoming winter. The company is working to transform itself into a regulated company by mid of 2018. If the cold wave continue it will result in higher demand for heating purposes. However, high competition in the wholesale and retail electric markets can affect its top line. In addition, stringent regulatory norms, and intensifying competition are some of the headwinds.”

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on FE. ValuEngine upgraded shares of FirstEnergy from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Guggenheim reiterated a buy rating and issued a $47.00 target price on shares of FirstEnergy in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Citigroup raised their price target on shares of FirstEnergy from $31.00 to $34.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $34.00 price target on shares of FirstEnergy and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Mizuho restated a hold rating and issued a $30.50 price target on shares of FirstEnergy in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $35.32.

FirstEnergy (FE) traded down $0.17 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $30.07. 3,989,083 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,290,000. FirstEnergy has a 1-year low of $27.93 and a 1-year high of $35.22. The company has a quick ratio of 0.56, a current ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.29. The firm has a market cap of $13,380.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of -2.55 and a beta of 0.25.

FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.86 by $0.11. FirstEnergy had a negative net margin of 35.99% and a positive return on equity of 19.29%. The business had revenue of $3.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.72 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.90 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that FirstEnergy will post 3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of FirstEnergy by 23.4% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 44,375,170 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,293,979,000 after acquiring an additional 8,409,439 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of FirstEnergy by 13.9% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 44,045,492 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,284,363,000 after acquiring an additional 5,369,241 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its position in shares of FirstEnergy by 34.9% during the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 3,144,787 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $96,954,000 after acquiring an additional 813,967 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in shares of FirstEnergy by 5.4% during the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 2,866,589 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $88,362,000 after acquiring an additional 147,342 shares in the last quarter. Finally, NWQ Investment Management Company LLC acquired a new stake in shares of FirstEnergy during the 3rd quarter valued at about $70,441,000. Institutional investors own 82.32% of the company’s stock.

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About FirstEnergy

FirstEnergy Corp. is a holding company. The Company is engaged in holding, directly or indirectly, all of the outstanding equity of its principal subsidiaries. Its segments include Regulated Distribution, Regulated Transmission, Competitive Energy Services (CES) and Corporate/Other. As of December 31, 2016, the Regulated Distribution segment distributed electricity through the Company’s 10 utility operating companies, serving approximately six million customers, and purchased power for its provider of last resort (POLR), standard offer service (SOS), standard offer service (SSO) and default service requirements in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

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