Spire (NYSE:SR) Rating 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 note issued to investors on Thursday, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley set a $80.00 price target on shares of Spire and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, May 16th. Wells Fargo & Co downgraded shares of Spire from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $92.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Friday, May 24th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $75.00 price target on shares of Spire and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, April 22nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $80.43.

NYSE SR opened at $84.72 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $4.30 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.59 and a beta of 0.24. Spire has a 52 week low of $65.85 and a 52 week high of $87.13. The company has a current ratio of 0.59, a quick ratio of 0.50 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85.

Spire (NYSE:SR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 1st. The utilities provider reported $2.90 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.63 by $0.27. The business had revenue of $803.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $795.74 million. Spire had a net margin of 11.12% and a return on equity of 8.05%. The company’s revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $2.83 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Spire will post 3.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Edward L. Glotzbach purchased 8,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 5th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $26.00 per share, with a total value of $208,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 2.90% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Magnus Financial Group LLC increased its position in shares of Spire by 4.2% in the first quarter. Magnus Financial Group LLC now owns 4,661 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $384,000 after purchasing an additional 189 shares during the last quarter. Tortoise Index Solutions LLC increased its position in shares of Spire by 0.3% in the first quarter. Tortoise Index Solutions LLC now owns 56,227 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,627,000 after purchasing an additional 189 shares during the last quarter. JOYN Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Spire by 115.3% in the fourth quarter. JOYN Advisors Inc. now owns 407 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $30,000 after purchasing an additional 218 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp increased its position in shares of Spire by 3.0% in the fourth quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 7,441 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $550,000 after purchasing an additional 218 shares during the last quarter. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Spire by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 26,193 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,940,000 after purchasing an additional 283 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 79.15% of the company’s stock.

About Spire

Spire Inc, through its subsidiaries, engages in the purchase, retail distribution, and sale of natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and other end-users of natural gas in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Gas Utility and Gas Marketing. It is also involved in marketing natural gas; and provision of energy services on non-regulated basis to on-system utility transportation customers, as well as to retail and wholesale customers.

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