Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of American Electric Power Company, Inc. (NYSE:AEP) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “American Electric continues to focus on augmenting its earnings base has directed its capital expenditure toward regulated businesses. Notably, it has a stable earnings base of approximately 5.4 million customers spread over 11 states. Furthermore, the company’s geographically-diversified operations allow it to avail transmission opportunities with better returns, compared with its single-state utility peers However, the huge investment that American Electric plans to make, may weigh on its finances, going ahead. Also, the company operates in the spot market that faces the risk of volatile market prices, which in turn could affect its margins and revenues. Further, it incurs huge costs in the event of failure to meet the appropriate environmental regulations.”

Several other research analysts also recently commented on AEP. BidaskClub downgraded American Electric Power from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a hold rating and set a $70.00 target price on shares of American Electric Power in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Morgan Stanley reissued an equal weight rating on shares of American Electric Power in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) downgraded American Electric Power from a buy rating to a neutral rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $68.00 to $70.00 in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Finally, Mizuho reissued a buy rating and set a $72.50 target price on shares of American Electric Power in a research note on Wednesday, April 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $72.00.

Shares of American Electric Power (NYSE AEP) opened at 70.43 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $34.63 billion, a PE ratio of 49.39 and a beta of 0.30. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $70.16 and a 200 day moving average of $67.55. American Electric Power has a 52-week low of $57.89 and a 52-week high of $72.97.

American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The utilities provider reported $0.75 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.82 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $3.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.70 billion. American Electric Power had a return on equity of 10.32% and a net margin of 3.60%. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.95 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that American Electric Power will post $3.66 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 8th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 10th will be given a dividend of $0.59 per share. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.35%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 8th. American Electric Power’s dividend payout ratio is presently 203.45%.

In other American Electric Power news, insider Paul Chodak III sold 1,110 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.20, for a total transaction of $75,702.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.15% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AEP. Ledyard National Bank boosted its position in American Electric Power by 52.6% in the second quarter. Ledyard National Bank now owns 1,450 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the period. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new position in American Electric Power during the first quarter valued at approximately $105,000. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC boosted its position in American Electric Power by 0.3% in the first quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 1,599 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 5 shares during the period. Zions Bancorporation boosted its position in American Electric Power by 1.3% in the first quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 1,680 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the period. Finally, Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. boosted its position in American Electric Power by 0.3% in the first quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 1,741 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. 70.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

American Electric Power Company Profile

American Electric Power Company, Inc (AEP) is a public utility holding company that owns, directly or indirectly, all of the outstanding common stock of its public utility subsidiaries and varying percentages of other subsidiaries. The service areas of the Company’s public utility subsidiaries cover the states of Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

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Analyst Recommendations for American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP)

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