TransAlta (NYSE:TAC) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of TransAlta (NYSE:TAC) (TSE:TA) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “TransAlta is Canada’s largest non-regulated electric generation and marketing company. “

Separately, ValuEngine downgraded TransAlta from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, July 27th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $6.75.

TAC stock opened at $6.31 on Friday. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $6.23 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $6.42. TransAlta has a 12-month low of $3.99 and a 12-month high of $7.61. The company has a current ratio of 1.74, a quick ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98. The company has a market cap of $1.79 billion, a PE ratio of -11.91 and a beta of 1.22.

TransAlta (NYSE:TAC) (TSE:TA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, August 9th. The utilities provider reported ($0.02) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.08) by $0.06. TransAlta had a negative return on equity of 6.16% and a negative net margin of 9.91%. The firm had revenue of $371.56 million during the quarter. Equities analysts forecast that TransAlta will post -0.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.031 per share. This represents a $0.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.97%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 30th. This is an increase from TransAlta’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.03. TransAlta’s payout ratio is -22.64%.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. CIBC Asset Management Inc grew its position in TransAlta by 7.0% during the second quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 14,835,436 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $96,518,000 after acquiring an additional 970,519 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of TransAlta by 2.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,817,116 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $50,889,000 after buying an additional 211,378 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in shares of TransAlta by 109.0% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,855,441 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $12,081,000 after buying an additional 967,541 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position in shares of TransAlta by 14,367.5% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,700,079 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $10,388,000 after buying an additional 1,688,328 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its position in shares of TransAlta by 7.5% in the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,450,210 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $9,440,000 after buying an additional 100,742 shares during the period. 50.33% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

TransAlta Company Profile

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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