Spire (SR) Lowered 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 report issued to clients and investors 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. “

SR has been the topic of a number of other reports. Stifel Nicolaus raised their target price on Spire from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 16th. ValuEngine cut shares of Spire from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of Spire from $73.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Friday, September 8th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $73.00 price objective on shares of Spire in a research note on Monday, October 16th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on shares of Spire from $71.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and four have issued a hold rating to the company. Spire has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $74.00.

Spire (NYSE SR) traded down $2.30 during trading on Friday, reaching $66.50. 629,544 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 260,564. The company has a current ratio of 0.66, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00. The firm has a market capitalization of $3,332.36, a P/E ratio of 19.09, a PEG ratio of 3.72 and a beta of 0.30. Spire has a 1 year low of $62.33 and a 1 year high of $82.85.

Spire (NYSE:SR) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 15th. The utilities provider reported ($0.22) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.26) by $0.04. The company had revenue of $258.70 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $271.65 million. Spire had a negative return on equity of 2.73% and a negative net margin of 5.14%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted ($0.32) earnings per share. research analysts predict that Spire will post 3.71 EPS for the current year.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of SR. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its position in Spire by 11.2% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 262,741 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $18,327,000 after acquiring an additional 26,543 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its position in Spire by 5.6% in the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 89,245 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $6,225,000 after acquiring an additional 4,718 shares in the last quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp raised its position in Spire by 3.5% in the second quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp now owns 5,709 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $398,000 after acquiring an additional 193 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. raised its position in Spire by 16.5% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 6,242 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $435,000 after acquiring an additional 886 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its position in Spire by 8.6% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,825 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $127,000 after acquiring an additional 144 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.96% of the company’s stock.

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About Spire

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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