Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Allete, Inc. (NYSE:ALE) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “ALLETE is an energy company. In addition to its electric utilities, Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power of Wisconsin, ALLETE owns ALLETE Clean Energy, based in Duluth, U.S. Water Services headquartered in St. Michael, Minn., BNI Energy in Center, N.D., and has an eight percent equity interest in the American Transmission Co. “

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services boosted their price target on shares of Allete from $71.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 9th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Allete from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Allete from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, Williams Capital lifted their price objective on shares of Allete from $75.00 to $78.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, June 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $78.67.

Allete (NYSE:ALE) traded down 0.05% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $78.45. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 69,415 shares. Allete has a 52 week low of $56.48 and a 52 week high of $79.61. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.08 and a beta of 0.48. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $77.28 and its 200 day moving average price is $72.65.

Allete (NYSE:ALE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.72 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.17. The business had revenue of $353.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $342.50 million. Allete had a net margin of 12.09% and a return on equity of 9.21%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 12.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.50 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Allete will post $3.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, Director Madeleine W. Ludlow sold 2,500 shares of Allete stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.83, for a total transaction of $187,075.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.42% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ALE. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its position in shares of Allete by 8.5% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,802 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $129,000 after purchasing an additional 141 shares during the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. lifted its position in shares of Allete by 2.7% during the 2nd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 1,872 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $134,000 after purchasing an additional 49 shares during the last quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Allete by 5.6% during the 2nd quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,890 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $135,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Allete by 2.1% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,164 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $140,000 after purchasing an additional 45 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio lifted its position in shares of Allete by 4.3% during the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 2,768 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $198,000 after purchasing an additional 115 shares during the last quarter. 70.99% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Allete Company Profile

ALLETE, Inc is an energy company. The Company’s segments include Regulated Operations, ALLETE Clean Energy, Inc (ALLETE Clean Energy), U.S. Water Services Holding Company (U.S. Water Services), and Corporate and Other. The Regulated Operations segment includes its regulated utilities, Minnesota Power, and Superior Water, Light and Power Company, and its investment in American Transmission Company LLC.

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