WEC Energy Group Inc (NYSE:WEC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “WEC Energy Group is currently serving more customers than the year-ago level. Also, more than 99% of its earnings come from regulated operations, which provided excellent visibility on its future performance. WEC Energy Group’s investments in infrastructure projects will help it to meet increasing customer demand and improve service reliability. However, coal still being the primary source of power for WEC Energy, installation of low-emission infrastructure at its generation systems to meet regulatory compliance increases the cost of operations. Further, any delay in the completion of ongoing capital projects could increase expenses and reduce profitability. The current rate of return from the company’s share is higher compared with the return from the broader industry in the last twelve months.”

WEC has been the subject of several other research reports. Wolfe Research cut shares of WEC Energy Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 2nd. Mizuho cut shares of WEC Energy Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $63.00 to $59.00 in a research report on Thursday, February 2nd. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $63.60.

Analyst Recommendations for WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC)

WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) opened at 59.71 on Friday. WEC Energy Group has a 1-year low of $53.66 and a 1-year high of $66.10. The firm has a market cap of $18.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.17 and a beta of 0.06. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $58.59 and a 200 day moving average of $58.42.

WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 1st. The company reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.01. WEC Energy Group had a return on equity of 10.63% and a net margin of 12.58%. The business had revenue of $1.96 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.85 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.63 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that WEC Energy Group will post $3.10 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Allen L. Leverett sold 29,715 shares of WEC Energy Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.32, for a total transaction of $1,732,978.80. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 78,247 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,563,365.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Gale E. Klappa sold 41,060 shares of WEC Energy Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.24, for a total transaction of $2,473,454.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.81% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WEC. Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in WEC Energy Group during the fourth quarter valued at $103,000. Country Trust Bank raised its position in WEC Energy Group by 6.9% in the third quarter. Country Trust Bank now owns 2,036 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 132 shares during the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank raised its position in WEC Energy Group by 73.6% in the third quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 2,135 shares of the company’s stock valued at $128,000 after buying an additional 905 shares during the last quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. raised its position in WEC Energy Group by 22.0% in the fourth quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. now owns 2,221 shares of the company’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA purchased a new position in WEC Energy Group during the fourth quarter valued at $135,000. 69.55% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About WEC Energy Group

WEC Energy Group, Inc, formerly Wisconsin Energy Corporation, is a holding company, which has electric and natural gas utility operations. The Company’s segments are Wisconsin, Illinois, other states, electric transmission, We Power, and corporate and other. The Company’s Wisconsin segment includes the electric and natural gas utility, and non-utility operations of Wisconsin Electric Power Company (Wisconsin Electric), Wisconsin Gas LLC (Wisconsin Gas) and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS), including Wisconsin Electric’s electric and WPS’s electric and natural gas operations in the state of Michigan.

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