Black Hills (NYSE:BKH) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Black Hills (NYSE:BKH) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $85.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Black Hills Corporation is an energy company that generates wholesale electricity and produces natural gas, crude oil and coal. They serve natural gas and electric utility customers in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also commented on BKH. Wells Fargo & Co dropped their price objective on shares of Black Hills from $80.00 to $78.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday. ValuEngine lowered shares of Black Hills from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Credit Suisse Group dropped their price objective on shares of Black Hills from $79.00 to $78.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a report on Friday, August 9th. Finally, Bank of America upgraded shares of Black Hills from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, October 10th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Black Hills has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $74.00.

NYSE:BKH traded down $0.01 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $75.09. The stock had a trading volume of 266,569 shares, compared to its average volume of 371,542. Black Hills has a one year low of $59.49 and a one year high of $82.01. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a current ratio of 0.76. The company has a market cap of $4.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.21, a P/E/G ratio of 5.16 and a beta of 0.24. The business’s 50 day moving average is $77.34 and its 200-day moving average is $77.18.

Black Hills (NYSE:BKH) last issued its earnings results on Monday, November 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by ($0.01). Black Hills had a net margin of 12.32% and a return on equity of 8.73%. The firm had revenue of $325.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $385.42 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.42 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Black Hills will post 3.45 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, December 1st. Investors of record on Monday, November 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.535 per share. This represents a $2.14 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.85%. This is a positive change from Black Hills’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.51. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 15th. Black Hills’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 57.06%.

In related news, insider Shonn D. Stahlecker sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $7.35, for a total value of $73,500.00. Also, Chairman David R. Emery sold 7,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.31, for a total transaction of $579,825.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 152,806 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,813,431.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 32,500 shares of company stock worth $1,821,375. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Black Hills by 16.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,732,992 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $682,659,000 after purchasing an additional 1,211,902 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Black Hills by 3.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,007,898 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $547,807,000 after purchasing an additional 259,047 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its position in Black Hills by 44.8% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,233,100 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $96,391,000 after purchasing an additional 381,300 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp grew its position in Black Hills by 1.8% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,213,623 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $94,870,000 after purchasing an additional 21,235 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its position in Black Hills by 0.8% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,098,293 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $85,854,000 after purchasing an additional 9,144 shares in the last quarter. 87.79% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Black Hills Company Profile

Black Hills Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates as an electric and natural gas utility company in the United States. It operates through Electric Utilities, Gas Utilities, Power Generation, and Mining segments. The Electric Utilities segment generates, transmits, and distributes electricity to approximately 212,000 electric customers in Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming, as well as provides electrical system construction services to large industrial customers.

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