Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of WEC Energy have outperformed the industry in the past 12 months. The company delivered better-than-expected earnings and revenues in the fourth quarter, courtesy of higher usage of residential electricity. Courtesy the improving economic condition, the company continues to witness an increase in customer volume. Its long-term investments in infrastructure projects will help to meet higher demand and improve service reliability. Strategic acquisitions are going to be accretive to WEC Energy’s performance. The company will benefit from the completion of the Modernization plan in 2021. Major chunk of WEC Energy’s electricity production is generated from coal fired units and some coal units could attract emission regulation, making it uneconomical to maintain and operate. The Company’s dependence on financial performance of its subsidiaries to meet its obligation is a concern.”

WEC has been the topic of several other reports. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price target on shares of WEC Energy Group from $71.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, February 14th. Argus lifted their price target on shares of WEC Energy Group from $75.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, December 6th. Barclays lifted their price target on shares of WEC Energy Group from $71.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Monday, November 19th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price objective on shares of WEC Energy Group from $78.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 13th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $74.11.

NYSE WEC opened at $78.88 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a current ratio of 0.67. WEC Energy Group has a 12-month low of $58.48 and a 12-month high of $78.88. The firm has a market capitalization of $24.88 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.62, a PEG ratio of 5.02 and a beta of 0.15.

WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 12th. The utilities provider reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by $0.01. WEC Energy Group had a net margin of 13.81% and a return on equity of 10.87%. The business had revenue of $2.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.96 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.71 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.1% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts anticipate that WEC Energy Group will post 3.52 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director Allen L. Leverett sold 112,250 shares of WEC Energy Group stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.35, for a total transaction of $8,345,787.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 151,589 shares in the company, valued at $11,270,642.15. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Gale E. Klappa sold 130,784 shares of WEC Energy Group stock in a transaction on Friday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.94, for a total transaction of $9,931,736.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 456,668 shares of company stock valued at $34,330,208 over the last quarter. Insiders own 0.94% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BCJ Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in WEC Energy Group during the fourth quarter valued at $231,000. Arbor Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in WEC Energy Group during the fourth quarter valued at $32,000. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its position in WEC Energy Group by 9.1% during the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 9,072 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $628,000 after purchasing an additional 757 shares during the period. Coldstream Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in WEC Energy Group by 1.0% during the fourth quarter. Coldstream Capital Management Inc. now owns 37,297 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,583,000 after purchasing an additional 364 shares during the period. Finally, FMR LLC lifted its position in WEC Energy Group by 275.1% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,807,699 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $194,462,000 after purchasing an additional 2,059,213 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.81% of the company’s stock.

About WEC Energy Group

WEC Energy Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides regulated natural gas and electricity, and nonregulated renewable energy services in the United States. The company operates through six segments: Wisconsin, Illinois, Other States, Electric Transmission, Non-Utility Energy Infrastructure, and Corporate and Other.

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