Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of American Electric Power Co. (NYSE:AEP) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “An earnings base of approximately 5.4 million customers offers stability to American Electric’s revenue stream and insulates it from lower sales in any particular service area.  Moreover, the company’s focus on augmenting its earnings has led to its capital expenditure being directed toward regulated businesses. American Electrics also boasts a strong liquidity position worth $3.5 billion as of Jun 30, 2016. Additionally, focus on expansion of transmission, curtailment of unregulated generation costs and efficient capital allocation will allow the company to attain its 4–6% long-term EPS growth target. On the flip side, uncertain ruling from regulatory proceedings and fluctuating commodity prices are potential setbacks; going forward.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on AEP. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a buy rating on shares of American Electric Power in a research note on Wednesday, May 18th. KeyCorp set a $72.50 price objective on American Electric Power and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised American Electric Power from a neutral rating to a buy rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $71.00 to $73.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 26th. Jefferies Group increased their price objective on American Electric Power from $75.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Hilliard Lyons downgraded American Electric Power from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $68.11.

Shares of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) opened at 65.42 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $32.17 billion, a PE ratio of 16.15 and a beta of 0.24. American Electric Power has a 12-month low of $53.30 and a 12-month high of $71.32. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $66.17 and its 200 day moving average price is $66.17.

American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.95 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.90 by $0.05. American Electric Power had a return on equity of 9.54% and a net margin of 12.50%. The business had revenue of $3.90 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.01 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.88 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that American Electric Power will post $3.69 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 9th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 10th were paid a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.42%. American Electric Power’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 55.17%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AEP. Brick & Kyle Associates boosted its position in shares of American Electric Power by 18.7% in the second quarter. Brick & Kyle Associates now owns 1,430 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 225 shares during the period. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. boosted its position in shares of American Electric Power by 0.8% in the second quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 1,447 shares of the company’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 12 shares during the period. Van ECK Associates Corp bought a new position in shares of American Electric Power during the second quarter worth about $104,000. Krilogy Financial LLC boosted its position in shares of American Electric Power by 105.2% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 1,531 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 785 shares during the period. Finally, Wealthcare Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of American Electric Power during the second quarter worth about $108,000. 69.19% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

American Electric Power Company Profile

American Electric Power Company, Inc (AEP) is a public utility holding company that owns, directly or indirectly, all of the outstanding common stock of its public utility subsidiaries and varying percentages of other subsidiaries. The Company’s segments include Vertically Integrated Utilities, Transmission and Distribution Utilities, AEP Transmission Holdco, and Generation & Marketing.

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