Zacks Investment Research cut shares of CMS Energy Corp. (NYSE:CMS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “CMS Energy’s focus on strengthening circuits and substations, replacing aging poles and installing smart meters; in the electric utility space buoys optimism. The company’s investments in infrastructure development, replacement of aged infrastructure and application of smart technologies will enable it to provide reliable services to customers. The company's sustained efforts to expand its renewable portfolio are also impressive. However, stringent environmental regulations, volatile commodity prices and risks related to impending regulatory cases could deter growth. Moreover, weather variations tend to impact the demand for electricity and natural gas, thereby leading to a fluctuating performance.”

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on CMS. Scotiabank started coverage on shares of CMS Energy Corp. in a research note on Friday, July 15th. They issued a sector perform rating and a $46.00 target price for the company. SunTrust Banks Inc. decreased their target price on shares of CMS Energy Corp. from $43.00 to $42.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Monday, August 29th. KeyCorp restated an outperform rating and issued a $47.00 target price (up from $45.00) on shares of CMS Energy Corp. in a research note on Saturday, July 2nd. Howard Weil started coverage on shares of CMS Energy Corp. in a research note on Friday, July 15th. They issued a sector perform rating and a $46.00 target price for the company. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a buy rating on shares of CMS Energy Corp. in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $43.65.

CMS Energy Corp. (NYSE:CMS) opened at 42.33 on Tuesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $43.22 and a 200-day moving average of $42.53. CMS Energy Corp. has a 1-year low of $32.83 and a 1-year high of $46.25. The firm has a market capitalization of $11.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.70 and a beta of 0.12.

CMS Energy Corp. (NYSE:CMS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.36 by $0.09. CMS Energy Corp. had a net margin of 8.79% and a return on equity of 13.34%. The company earned $1.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.49 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.25 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that CMS Energy Corp. will post $2.02 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 31st. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 5th were given a $0.31 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 3rd. This represents a $1.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.93%. CMS Energy Corp.’s payout ratio is currently 63.59%.

In other news, Director Jon E. Barfield sold 9,568 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.97, for a total value of $411,136.96. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 23,256 shares in the company, valued at approximately $999,310.32. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Catherine M. Reynolds sold 11,032 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.59, for a total transaction of $480,884.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.93% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of CMS. Tobam purchased a new stake in CMS Energy Corp. during the first quarter worth $2,629,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in CMS Energy Corp. by 13.6% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 20,807,161 shares of the company’s stock worth $883,058,000 after buying an additional 2,490,046 shares during the period. First Republic Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in CMS Energy Corp. by 72.4% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 17,423 shares of the company’s stock worth $739,000 after buying an additional 7,315 shares during the period. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI purchased a new stake in CMS Energy Corp. during the first quarter worth $3,727,000. Finally, Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund boosted its stake in CMS Energy Corp. by 19.4% in the first quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 59,715 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,534,000 after buying an additional 9,699 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 89.22% of the company’s stock.

About CMS Energy Corp.

CMS Energy Corporation (CMS Energy) is an energy company operating primarily in Michigan. The Company operates in three segments, which include Consumers Electric Utility, Consumers Gas Utility and Enterprises (non-utility operations and investments). CMS Energy, through its subsidiaries and equity investments, is engaged primarily in independent power production and owns power generation facilities fueled by natural gas and biomass.

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