Spire (NYSE:SR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $80.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 12.68% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Spire Inc. is a public utility company which is engaged in the purchase, retail distribution, sale and marketing of natural gas. Its operating segment consists of Gas Utility and Gas Marketing. Gas Utility segment includes the regulated operations of Laclede Gas and Alabama Gas Corporation. Gas Marketing segment is engaged in the marketing of natural gas and related activities on a non-regulated basis. Spire Inc, formerly known as The Laclede Group Inc., is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. “

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. ValuEngine cut Spire from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their target price on Spire from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 16th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and set a $73.00 target price on shares of Spire in a research note on Monday, October 16th. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Spire from $75.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their target price on Spire from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $74.67.

Shares of Spire (NYSE SR) traded down $0.65 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $71.00. The stock had a trading volume of 223,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 235,083. Spire has a twelve month low of $62.33 and a twelve month high of $82.85. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00, a current ratio of 0.66 and a quick ratio of 0.46. The firm has a market capitalization of $3,430.00, a PE ratio of 20.17, a PEG ratio of 3.85 and a beta of 0.30.

Spire (NYSE:SR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 15th. The utilities provider reported ($0.22) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.26) by $0.04. Spire had a return on equity of 8.71% and a net margin of 9.28%. The business had revenue of $258.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $271.65 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.32) earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 7.4% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that Spire will post 3.72 EPS for the current year.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bruderman Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in Spire during the 2nd quarter worth $124,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its stake in Spire by 8.6% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,825 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $127,000 after purchasing an additional 144 shares in the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its stake in Spire by 11.2% during the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 2,070 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $144,000 after purchasing an additional 209 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. grew its stake in Spire by 30.7% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,147 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $149,000 after purchasing an additional 504 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Archford Capital Strategies LLC grew its stake in Spire by 66.5% during the 2nd quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 1,807 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $168,000 after purchasing an additional 722 shares in the last quarter. 79.79% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Spire

Spire Inc, formerly The Laclede Group, Inc, is engaged to transform its business and pursue growth by growing its gas utility business through prudent investment in infrastructure upgrades and organic growth initiatives; acquire and integrate gas utilities; modernize its gas assets, and invest in innovation.

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