AES (AES) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AES (NYSE:AES) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $18.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “In the past 12 months, shares of AES Corp have outperformed its industry. The company continues to streamline its portfolio by divesting assets and exiting markets, wherein it does not have or cannot develop a competitive edge. AES Corp is focused on preserving its financial flexibility by reducing costs. Also, the company is rapidly expanding its renewable footprint overseas. Besides asset divestment, the company is teaming up with other companies to expand its footprint in potential markets. However, focus on long-term supply contracts exposes the company to commodity price risks. The political landscape in Brazil is unstable and has caused a delay in AES Corp’s reform plans. Moreover,”

Shares of NYSE AES opened at $16.34 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $10.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.18, a PEG ratio of 1.56 and a beta of 1.04. AES has a 52 week low of $11.80 and a 52 week high of $18.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.27, a quick ratio of 1.21 and a current ratio of 1.34.

AES (NYSE:AES) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, May 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.28 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.30 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $2.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.47 billion. AES had a net margin of 6.32% and a return on equity of 19.05%. AES’s quarterly revenue was down 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.28 EPS. Sell-side analysts predict that AES will post 1.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 1st were given a $0.1365 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, April 30th. This represents a $0.55 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.34%. AES’s dividend payout ratio is currently 44.35%.

In other news, insider Jeffrey W. Ubben bought 2,582,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 13th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $16.10 per share, for a total transaction of $41,570,200.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Jeffrey W. Ubben bought 2,482,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 9th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $16.11 per share, for a total transaction of $39,985,020.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 1.06% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in AES. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its holdings in AES by 6.1% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 81,854,306 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,145,960,000 after acquiring an additional 4,727,278 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund lifted its holdings in AES by 1,769.2% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,851,301 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $335,000 after acquiring an additional 4,591,766 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in AES by 74.8% in the first quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 10,575,916 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $191,213,000 after acquiring an additional 4,523,946 shares during the period. MERIAN GLOBAL INVESTORS UK Ltd lifted its holdings in AES by 361.8% in the first quarter. MERIAN GLOBAL INVESTORS UK Ltd now owns 3,673,591 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $66,418,000 after acquiring an additional 2,878,179 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its holdings in AES by 82.2% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 6,213,900 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $112,347,000 after acquiring an additional 2,802,900 shares during the period. 94.30% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

AES Company Profile

The AES Corporation operates as a diversified power generation and utility company. It owns and/or operates power plants to generate and sell power to customers, such as utilities, industrial users, and other intermediaries. The company also owns and/or operates utilities to generate or purchase, distribute, transmit, and sell electricity to end-user customers in the residential, commercial, industrial, and governmental sectors; and generates and sells electricity on the wholesale market.

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