Zacks reissued their neutral rating on shares of Northeast Utilities System (NYSE: NU) in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning. Zacks currently has a $43.00 price target on the stock.
Zacks’ analyst wrote, “In fourth-quarter 2012, Northeast Utilities’ earnings per share missed both the Zacks Consensus Estimate as well as the year-ago numbers primarily due to increase in purchased Power, fuel and transmission expense and higher operation and maintenance costs. However, the merger with NSTAR enables the company to increase its scale of operations and widen customer base, which may subsequently enable the company to achieve earnings growth in the future. However, we are skeptical as stringent regulations, over-reliance on transmission and distribution businesses, and risks associated with delay and cancellation of several important projects may offset the synergies gained from merger. Thus, we maintain our Neutral recommendation. “
Shares of Northeast Utilities System traded up 1.17% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $41.37. Northeast Utilities System has a 52 week low of $34.84 and a 52 week high of $41.65. The stock’s 50-day moving average is currently $40.20. The company has a market cap of $12.988 billion and a P/E ratio of 21.45.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Thursday, March 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 1st will be given a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.47 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.60%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 27th. This is a boost from Northeast Utilities System’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.34.
Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Wells Fargo reiterated an outperform rating on shares of Northeast Utilities System in a research note to investors on Wednesday. They now have a $43.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $46.00. Separately, analysts at Brean Murray reiterated a buy rating on shares of Northeast Utilities System in a research note to investors on Wednesday. They now have a $48.00 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at Argus downgraded shares of Northeast Utilities System from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note to investors on Wednesday, January 23rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call.
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