Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Fortis (NYSE:FTS) to “Buy”

Fortis (NYSE:FTS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has a $44.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 10.52% from the stock’s previous close.

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. “

Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on FTS. Bank of America set a $54.00 price target on shares of Fortis and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. UBS Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Fortis in a research note on Friday, June 7th. Raymond James set a $86.00 price target on shares of Gilead Sciences and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 23rd. Veritas Investment Research cut shares of Fortis from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Fortis in a research note on Tuesday, April 16th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. Fortis currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $50.25.

Shares of NYSE FTS opened at $39.81 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $17.26 billion, a PE ratio of 20.84, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.96 and a beta of 0.18. Fortis has a 52 week low of $31.37 and a 52 week high of $40.47. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $39.31. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 0.62 and a current ratio of 0.70.

Fortis (NYSE:FTS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55. The firm had revenue of $1.83 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.72 billion. Fortis had a net margin of 12.61% and a return on equity of 6.44%. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.69 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Fortis will post 1.96 earnings per share for the current year.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Reaves W H & Co. Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Fortis by 5.9% during the 1st quarter. Reaves W H & Co. Inc. now owns 1,293,413 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $47,844,000 after purchasing an additional 72,491 shares during the last quarter. Forsta AP Fonden boosted its position in shares of Fortis by 8.4% in the first quarter. Forsta AP Fonden now owns 304,900 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $11,272,000 after acquiring an additional 23,700 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its position in shares of Fortis by 7.3% in the first quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 2,619,960 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $96,912,000 after acquiring an additional 178,476 shares during the last quarter. Richard C. Young & CO. LTD. boosted its position in shares of Fortis by 5.0% in the first quarter. Richard C. Young & CO. LTD. now owns 183,681 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $6,794,000 after acquiring an additional 8,772 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Fortis in the fourth quarter worth approximately $136,106,000. 51.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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