Spire Inc. (SR) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Spire Inc. (NYSE:SR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Spire Inc. is a public utility company which is engaged in the purchase, retail distribution, sale and marketing of natural gas. Its operating segment consists of Gas Utility and Gas Marketing. Gas Utility segment includes the regulated operations of Laclede Gas and Alabama Gas Corporation. Gas Marketing segment is engaged in the marketing of natural gas and related activities on a non-regulated basis. Spire Inc, formerly known as The Laclede Group Inc., is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. “

Separately, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of Spire from $70.00 to $71.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Monday, May 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $70.80.

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Spire (NYSE:SR) opened at 69.45 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $3.35 billion, a PE ratio of 21.21 and a beta of 0.33. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $70.69 and a 200-day moving average of $67.14. Spire has a 12-month low of $59.54 and a 12-month high of $72.82.

Spire (NYSE:SR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 3rd. The utilities provider reported $2.38 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.37 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $663.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $662.43 million. Spire had a net margin of 8.87% and a return on equity of 8.66%. Spire’s quarterly revenue was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $2.37 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Spire will post $3.53 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 5th. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 12th were given a dividend of $0.525 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, June 8th. This represents a $2.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.02%. Spire’s payout ratio is currently 64.02%.

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A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its position in shares of Spire by 2.0% in the first quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 5,070 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $342,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Spire by 2.1% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 12,326 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $832,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. Everence Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Spire during the first quarter worth approximately $242,000. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. increased its position in shares of Spire by 8.2% in the first quarter. Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. now owns 820,340 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $55,373,000 after buying an additional 62,505 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Louisiana State Employees Retirement System increased its position in shares of Spire by 1.1% in the first quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 18,600 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,256,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.33% of the company’s stock.

Spire Company Profile

Spire Inc, formerly The Laclede Group, Inc, is engaged to transform its business and pursue growth by growing its gas utility business through prudent investment in infrastructure upgrades and organic growth initiatives; acquire and integrate gas utilities; modernize its gas assets, and invest in innovation.

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Analyst Recommendations for Spire (NYSE:SR)

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