El Paso Electric Co. (NYSE:EE) has been assigned a consensus broker rating score of 1.67 (Buy) from the three brokers that provide coverage for the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation and two have issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. El Paso Electric’s rating score has improved by 28.3% from three months ago as a result of a number of analysts’ upgrades and downgrades.

Analysts have set a 12 month consensus price target of $52.25 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post $1.90 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given El Paso Electric an industry rank of 165 out of 265 based on the ratings given to related companies.

A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on EE shares. Jefferies Group upgraded El Paso Electric from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $47.00 to $52.50 in a report on Thursday, July 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research downgraded El Paso Electric from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 14th.

El Paso Electric (NYSE:EE) traded up 0.26% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $47.04. The stock had a trading volume of 23,814 shares. El Paso Electric has a 52-week low of $35.15 and a 52-week high of $48.38. The stock has a market cap of $1.91 billion, a PE ratio of 25.76 and a beta of 0.40. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $46.02 and its 200-day moving average price is $45.54.

El Paso Electric (NYSE:EE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.25. El Paso Electric had a net margin of 8.77% and a return on equity of 7.30%. The company earned $217.87 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $219.50 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.52 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that El Paso Electric will post $2.40 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30th. Investors of record on Wednesday, September 14th will be paid a dividend of $0.31 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 12th. This represents a $1.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.64%. El Paso Electric’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 67.76%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. State Street Corp increased its stake in El Paso Electric by 1.7% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 908,937 shares of the company’s stock valued at $41,706,000 after buying an additional 15,596 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in El Paso Electric by 1.9% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 812,993 shares of the company’s stock valued at $37,301,000 after buying an additional 15,058 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its stake in El Paso Electric by 1.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 1,096,481 shares of the company’s stock valued at $50,307,000 after buying an additional 18,218 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in El Paso Electric by 2.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 2,635,720 shares of the company’s stock valued at $120,927,000 after buying an additional 52,675 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Group LTD increased its stake in El Paso Electric by 127.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 125,753 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,770,000 after buying an additional 70,431 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.20% of the company’s stock.

El Paso Electric Company Profile

El Paso Electric Company is engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in an area of approximately 10,000 square miles in west Texas and southern New Mexico. The Company owns or has ownership interests in several electrical generating facilities providing it with a generating capability of over 2,055 Megawatts.

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