Spire (NYSE:SR) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Spire (NYSE:SR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Friday, January 5th.

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. “

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Spire from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price objective on shares of Spire from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, November 16th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $73.00 price objective on shares of Spire in a report on Monday, October 16th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Spire from $75.00 to $77.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on shares of Spire from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $74.67.

Shares of Spire (NYSE:SR) traded down $0.40 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $68.90. 184,500 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 241,211. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a current ratio of 0.66. The company has a market capitalization of $3,327.53, a P/E ratio of 19.57, a PEG ratio of 3.70 and a beta of 0.30. Spire has a one year low of $62.33 and a one year high of $82.85.

Spire (NYSE:SR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 15th. The utilities provider reported ($0.22) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.26) by $0.04. The business had revenue of $258.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $271.65 million. Spire had a net margin of 9.28% and a return on equity of 8.71%. Spire’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.32) earnings per share. research analysts expect that Spire will post 3.72 earnings per share for the current year.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SR. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Spire by 5.3% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,443,903 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $309,962,000 after acquiring an additional 224,903 shares in the last quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. raised its position in Spire by 92.9% during the third quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 435,949 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $32,545,000 after acquiring an additional 209,954 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Spire by 3.3% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,901,195 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $411,607,000 after acquiring an additional 188,507 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its position in Spire by 39.6% during the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 599,535 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $41,818,000 after acquiring an additional 169,964 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its position in Spire by 13.2% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,051,175 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $73,319,000 after acquiring an additional 122,444 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 79.99% of the company’s stock.

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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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