Ameren (AEE) Trading 5.4% Higher After Dividend Announcement

Shares of Ameren Corp (NYSE:AEE) traded up 5.4% during mid-day trading on Friday following a dividend announcement from the company. The company traded as high as $55.72 and last traded at $55.42. 4,554,020 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 147% from the average session volume of 1,840,762 shares. The stock had previously closed at $52.59.

The newly announced dividend which will be paid on Thursday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 14th will be given a $0.4575 dividend. This represents a $1.83 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.30%. Ameren’s dividend payout ratio is currently 72.62%.

A number of analysts have weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Ameren from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday. UBS Group assumed coverage on Ameren in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $57.00 price target for the company. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ameren in a research report on Friday, October 20th. ValuEngine cut Ameren from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, December 4th. Finally, Bank of America started coverage on Ameren in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $62.00 price objective on the stock. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $57.80.

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 capitalization of $13,340.00, a P/E ratio of 21.81, a P/E/G ratio of 2.49 and a beta of 0.28.

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

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AEE. APG Asset Management N.V. increased its stake in shares of Ameren by 463.6% in the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 3,462,798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $200,288,000 after purchasing an additional 2,848,400 shares during the period. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its stake in Ameren by 452.5% during the third quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 678,763 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $39,260,000 after acquiring an additional 555,900 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in Ameren by 12.9% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 4,478,768 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $259,053,000 after acquiring an additional 511,854 shares during the period. Swiss National Bank increased its stake in Ameren by 35.9% during the fourth quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 1,363,493 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $80,432,000 after acquiring an additional 360,000 shares during the period. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in Ameren by 15.1% during the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,244,596 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $129,828,000 after acquiring an additional 293,658 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.76% 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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