FirstEnergy Corporation (NYSE:FE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

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 have 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. High competition in the wholesale and retail electric markets can affect its top line. In addition, stringent regulatory norms, mild weather and intensifying competition are some of the headwinds.”

Several other research firms have also commented on FE. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating and issued a $34.00 price target (up previously from $31.00) on shares of FirstEnergy Corporation in a report on Monday, July 31st. Barclays PLC restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $37.00 price target (up previously from $36.00) on shares of FirstEnergy Corporation in a report on Monday, June 19th. ValuEngine lowered shares of FirstEnergy Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Morgan Stanley set a $38.00 price target on shares of FirstEnergy Corporation and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of FirstEnergy Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Fourteen investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $34.02.

Shares of FirstEnergy Corporation (NYSE FE) traded down 0.8682% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $30.8399. 1,617,981 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $32.26 and its 200 day moving average price is $30.69. FirstEnergy Corporation has a 12-month low of $27.93 and a 12-month high of $34.87. The company’s market cap is $13.70 billion.

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

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A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Frontier Investment Mgmt Co. raised its position in FirstEnergy Corporation by 11.1% during the second quarter. Frontier Investment Mgmt Co. now owns 190,683 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,560,000 after acquiring an additional 19,127 shares during the period. W. E. Donoghue & Co. LLC acquired a new position in FirstEnergy Corporation during the second quarter worth $15,980,000. Griffin Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in FirstEnergy Corporation during the second quarter worth $1,166,000. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of FirstEnergy Corporation by 3,345.0% in the second quarter. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,829,980 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $53,362,000 after buying an additional 1,776,860 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Lord Abbett & CO. LLC raised its position in shares of FirstEnergy Corporation by 1.7% in the second quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 164,600 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,800,000 after buying an additional 2,800 shares during the last quarter. 79.97% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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