Fortis (FTS) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Fortis (NYSE:FTS) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Fortis, Inc. is engaged in electric and gas utility business. The Company offers regulated utilities comprised of electric and gas as well as engages in non-regulated hydroelectric operations. It operates primarily in Canada, United States and Caribbean. Fortis, Inc. is based in St John’s, Canada. “

Separately, Bank of America started coverage on Fortis in a research note on Tuesday, October 9th. They set a buy rating for the company. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $45.00.

NYSE FTS traded up $0.28 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $34.54. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 247,421 shares, compared to its average volume of 423,491. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.71, a PEG ratio of 3.81 and a beta of -0.16. Fortis has a 1-year low of $30.88 and a 1-year high of $38.24. The company has a current ratio of 0.59, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37.

Fortis (NYSE:FTS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, November 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.50 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.49 by $0.01. Fortis had a return on equity of 6.80% and a net margin of 11.72%. The company had revenue of $1.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.63 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.61 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Fortis will post 1.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, November 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.349 per share. This is a positive change from Fortis’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.04%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 19th. Fortis’s payout ratio is 66.67%.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its position in shares of Fortis by 10.0% in the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 78,693 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,550,000 after purchasing an additional 7,180 shares in the last quarter. Gluskin Sheff & Assoc Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Fortis in the third quarter valued at approximately $216,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in shares of Fortis by 32.9% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 505,328 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $16,383,000 after purchasing an additional 125,054 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its position in shares of Fortis by 3.0% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 104,599 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,392,000 after purchasing an additional 3,043 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Jones Financial Companies Lllp grew its position in shares of Fortis by 1.4% in the third quarter. Jones Financial Companies Lllp now owns 121,101 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,926,000 after purchasing an additional 1,655 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 50.18% of the company’s stock.

Fortis Company Profile

Fortis Inc operates as an electric and gas utility company in Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean. It generates, transmits, and distributes electricity to approximately 422,000 retail customers in southeastern Arizona; and 96,000 retail customers in Arizona's Mohave and Santa Cruz counties with an aggregate capacity of 2,834 megawatts (MW), including 64 MW of solar capacity.

Further Reading: Return on Investment (ROI)

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Analyst Recommendations for Fortis (NYSE:FTS)

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