Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Fortis (NYSE:FTS) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Fortis, Inc. is engaged in electric and gas utility business. The Company offers regulated utilities comprised of electric and gas as well as engages in non-regulated hydroelectric operations. It operates primarily in Canada, United States and Caribbean. Fortis, Inc. is based in St John’s, Canada. “

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated an average rating and set a $53.00 price target on shares of Fortis in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a buy rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Fortis in a research note on Tuesday, April 16th. ValuEngine upgraded Fortis from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, December 21st. UBS Group reiterated a buy rating on shares of Fortis in a research note on Saturday, February 2nd. Finally, National Bank Financial reiterated a hold rating on shares of Fortis in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $51.50.

Shares of NYSE FTS opened at $37.29 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 0.77, a quick ratio of 0.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40. Fortis has a one year low of $30.88 and a one year high of $37.75. The stock has a market capitalization of $16.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.52, a PEG ratio of 3.85 and a beta of 0.23.

Fortis (NYSE:FTS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 15th. The utilities provider reported $0.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.61 by ($0.19). The company had revenue of $1.65 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.50 billion. Fortis had a return on equity of 6.43% and a net margin of 13.13%. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.58 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Fortis will post 1.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, June 1st. Investors of record on Friday, May 17th will be given a dividend of $0.343 per share. This represents a $1.37 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.68%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 16th. This is a boost from Fortis’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.34. Fortis’s payout ratio is currently 71.20%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Morgan Stanley lifted its position in shares of Fortis by 7.7% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 13,240,227 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $429,249,000 after purchasing an additional 949,811 shares during the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Fortis during the 4th quarter worth about $4,951,000. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board lifted its position in shares of Fortis by 15.9% during the 4th quarter. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board now owns 215,339 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $7,182,000 after purchasing an additional 29,487 shares during the last quarter. Concorde Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Fortis by 3.4% during the 4th quarter. Concorde Asset Management LLC now owns 60,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,002,000 after purchasing an additional 2,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in shares of Fortis by 32.9% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 505,328 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $16,383,000 after purchasing an additional 125,054 shares during the last quarter. 52.41% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Fortis

Fortis Inc operates as an electric and gas utility company in Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean. It generates, transmits, and distributes electricity to approximately 425,000 retail customers in southeastern Arizona; and 97,000 retail customers in Arizona's Mohave and Santa Cruz counties with an aggregate capacity of 3,377 MW (MW), including 57 MW of solar capacity.

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