Ameren Co. (NYSE:AEE) Sees Large Growth in Short Interest

Ameren Co. (NYSE:AEEGet Free Report) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in February. As of February 29th, there was short interest totalling 4,600,000 shares, a growth of 7.5% from the February 14th total of 4,280,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 2,180,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.1 days.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on AEE shares. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Ameren from $80.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 21st. StockNews.com downgraded shares of Ameren from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, February 26th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut shares of Ameren from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, December 18th. Barclays boosted their target price on Ameren from $72.00 to $74.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 14th. Finally, KeyCorp lowered Ameren from an “overweight” rating to a “sector weight” rating in a research report on Friday, December 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $80.11.

Read Our Latest Stock Analysis on Ameren

Ameren Stock Performance

Ameren stock opened at $71.97 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.32. The company has a market capitalization of $19.16 billion, a PE ratio of 16.47, a P/E/G ratio of 2.63 and a beta of 0.43. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $70.65 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $74.43. Ameren has a twelve month low of $67.03 and a twelve month high of $91.18.

Ameren (NYSE:AEEGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 23rd. The utilities provider reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.61 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $1.62 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.03 billion. Ameren had a return on equity of 10.42% and a net margin of 15.36%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 20.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.63 earnings per share. Research analysts expect that Ameren will post 4.62 EPS for the current year.

Ameren Increases Dividend

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 13th will be paid a dividend of $0.67 per share. This represents a $2.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.72%. This is an increase from Ameren’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, March 12th. Ameren’s dividend payout ratio is 61.33%.

Insider Buying and Selling at Ameren

In related news, EVP Mark C. Lindgren sold 1,630 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.70, for a total value of $115,241.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 47,883 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,385,328.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. In related news, EVP Mark C. Lindgren sold 1,630 shares of Ameren stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.70, for a total value of $115,241.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 47,883 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,385,328.10. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Martin J. Lyons sold 7,270 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.70, for a total transaction of $513,989.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 246,434 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,422,883.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.42% of the company’s stock.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Ameren

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of AEE. American Century Companies Inc. increased its position in shares of Ameren by 21.1% during the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 28,809 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,701,000 after buying an additional 5,025 shares during the period. Cibc World Market Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Ameren during the first quarter valued at approximately $769,000. Sei Investments Co. grew its holdings in shares of Ameren by 3.8% during the first quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 114,360 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $10,724,000 after buying an additional 4,148 shares during the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board grew its holdings in shares of Ameren by 3.1% during the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 272,246 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $25,526,000 after buying an additional 8,174 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Moors & Cabot Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Ameren by 14.4% during the first quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 2,780 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $261,000 after buying an additional 350 shares during the last quarter. 77.77% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Ameren

(Get Free Report)

Ameren Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. The company operates through four segments: Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution, Ameren Illinois Natural Gas, and Ameren Transmission. It engages in the rate-regulated electric generation, transmission, and distribution activities; and rate-regulated natural gas distribution and transmission businesses.

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