TransAlta (NYSE:TAC) Sees Large Volume Increase

TransAlta Co. (NYSE:TAC) (TSE:TA) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Wednesday . Approximately 874,531 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 480% from the previous session’s volume of 150,785 shares.The stock last traded at $6.84 and had previously closed at $6.71.

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on TAC shares. Scotiabank set a $11.00 target price on shares of TransAlta and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 18th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of TransAlta from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 20th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $10.00 target price on shares of TransAlta in a report on Thursday, September 19th. CIBC restated a “hold” rating and issued a $9.50 target price on shares of TransAlta in a report on Wednesday, October 23rd. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of TransAlta from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. TransAlta currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $9.31.

The company’s 50 day moving average price is $6.34 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $6.37. The firm has a market cap of $1.89 billion, a PE ratio of -12.91 and a beta of 1.21. The company has a current ratio of 2.02, a quick ratio of 1.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94.

TransAlta (NYSE:TAC) (TSE:TA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported ($0.01) earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.01). The business had revenue of $449.19 million for the quarter. TransAlta had a negative net margin of 4.07% and a negative return on equity of 4.91%. Equities research analysts expect that TransAlta Co. will post -0.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 1st. Investors of record on Monday, December 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.03 per share. This represents a $0.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.75%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 29th. TransAlta’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -22.64%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in TAC. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its holdings in TransAlta by 12.5% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 18,660 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $122,000 after acquiring an additional 2,068 shares during the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its holdings in TransAlta by 727.3% in the 3rd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 7,644 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $50,000 after acquiring an additional 6,720 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia increased its holdings in TransAlta by 10.7% in the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 85,800 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $558,000 after acquiring an additional 8,300 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp bought a new stake in TransAlta in the 3rd quarter valued at $73,000. Finally, Swiss National Bank increased its holdings in TransAlta by 2.2% in the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 533,100 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,468,000 after acquiring an additional 11,700 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 48.38% of the company’s stock.

About TransAlta (NYSE:TAC)

TransAlta Corporation operates as non-regulated electricity generation and energy marketing company in Canada, the United States, and Western Australia. It operates through eight segments: Canadian Coal, U.S. Coal, Canadian Gas, Australian Gas, Wind and Solar, Hydro, Energy Marketing, and Corporate. The company generates and markets electricity through various generation fuels, such as coal, natural gas, water, solar, and wind.

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