Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of FirstEnergy Corporation (NYSE:FE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of FirstEnergy's have gained higher than the industry in the last three months. FirstEnergy’s modernization drive and new generation asset additions will further strengthen its service reliability and lead to customer retention. This has led to its ambitious “Energizing the Future” plan aimed at upgrading and expanding its transmission capabilities. FirstEnergy is also gaining from industrial load growth. The company is working to transform itself into a regulated company by mid of 2018. It has secured regulatory approvals for base rate increase in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio which are expected to boost its top line in 2017. However, FirstEnergy’s higher debt/capital ratio compared with peers may further drive up its cost of capital in the rising interest rate environment. In addition, stringent regulatory norms, mild weather and intensifying competition are some of the headwinds.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. ValuEngine downgraded FirstEnergy Corporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on FirstEnergy Corporation from $39.00 to $40.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Friday, September 8th. Evercore ISI upgraded FirstEnergy Corporation from an in-line rating to an outperform rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $30.00 to $35.00 in a report on Monday, August 14th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a hold rating and issued a $33.00 price objective (up previously from $31.00) on shares of FirstEnergy Corporation in a report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a hold rating and issued a $34.00 price objective (up previously from $31.00) on shares of FirstEnergy Corporation in a report on Monday, July 31st. Fourteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $34.09.

FirstEnergy Corporation (NYSE:FE) opened at 31.25 on Monday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $32.28 and its 200-day moving average price is $30.69. The company’s market cap is $13.88 billion. FirstEnergy Corporation has a 52-week low of $27.93 and a 52-week high of $34.96.

FirstEnergy Corporation (NYSE:FE) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The utilities provider reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.61. The firm had revenue of $3.30 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.38 billion. FirstEnergy Corporation had a positive return on equity of 15.41% and a negative net margin of 35.59%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 3.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.56 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that FirstEnergy Corporation will post $2.81 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 7th were given a dividend of $0.36 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 3rd. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.61%. FirstEnergy Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently -12.31%.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC boosted its position in shares of FirstEnergy Corporation by 22.1% during the 2nd quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 3,633 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $106,000 after acquiring an additional 658 shares in the last quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC boosted its position in shares of FirstEnergy Corporation by 2,045.8% during the 2nd quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 4,077 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $262,000 after acquiring an additional 3,887 shares in the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of FirstEnergy Corporation during the 1st quarter worth about $139,000. Sandy Spring Bank boosted its position in shares of FirstEnergy Corporation by 1.9% during the 1st quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 5,075 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $161,000 after acquiring an additional 97 shares in the last quarter. Finally, City Holding Co. boosted its position in shares of FirstEnergy Corporation by 8.2% during the 2nd quarter. City Holding Co. now owns 5,261 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $153,000 after acquiring an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. 79.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

FirstEnergy Corporation Company Profile

FirstEnergy Corp. is a holding company. The Company is engaged in holding, directly or indirectly, all of the outstanding equity of its principal subsidiaries. Its segments include Regulated Distribution, Regulated Transmission, Competitive Energy Services (CES) and Corporate/Other. As of December 31, 2016, the Regulated Distribution segment distributed electricity through the Company’s 10 utility operating companies, serving approximately six million customers, and purchased power for its provider of last resort (POLR), standard offer service (SOS), standard offer service (SSO) and default service requirements in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

Analyst Recommendations for FirstEnergy Corporation (NYSE:FE)

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