Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Fortis (NYSE:FTS) to Sell

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Fortis (NYSE:FTS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Thursday, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on FTS. ValuEngine raised shares of Fortis from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, May 23rd. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $50.00 target price on shares of Fortis in a report on Tuesday, April 16th. Veritas Investment Research cut shares of Fortis from a buy rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, May 3rd. Bank of America set a $54.00 target price on shares of Fortis and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, Raymond James cut shares of Fortis from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $52.33.

Shares of FTS stock opened at $38.89 on Thursday. Fortis has a 12 month low of $30.88 and a 12 month high of $39.21. The company has a market cap of $16.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.91 and a beta of 0.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a current ratio of 0.70 and a quick ratio of 0.62.

Fortis (NYSE:FTS) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55. Fortis had a net margin of 12.61% and a return on equity of 6.44%. The business had revenue of $1.83 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.72 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.69 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts predict that Fortis will post 1.95 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. FMR LLC increased its holdings in Fortis by 6.8% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 576,547 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $21,309,000 after buying an additional 36,627 shares during the last quarter. B.S. Pension Fund Trustee Ltd acting for the British Steel Pension Fund increased its stake in shares of Fortis by 6.7% in the first quarter. B.S. Pension Fund Trustee Ltd acting for the British Steel Pension Fund now owns 320,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $15,805,000 after purchasing an additional 20,000 shares in the last quarter. GYL Financial Synergies LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Fortis in the first quarter worth $203,000. Marshall Wace North America L.P. increased its stake in shares of Fortis by 3,611.1% in the first quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 33,400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,235,000 after purchasing an additional 32,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new stake in shares of Fortis in the first quarter worth $1,516,000. 52.17% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Fortis Company Profile

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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