On Jan 12, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Consistent performance from this electric utility and strong
third-quarter results sparked upward earnings estimate revisions.
Moreover, this utility delivered positive earnings surprises in
the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 9.77%. The long-term
expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 5.5%.
The utility reported third-quarter earnings on Oct 31. Non-GAAP
earnings per share of 67 cents per share surpassed the Zacks
Consensus Estimate by 17.54% and exceeded the year-ago figure by
The upsurge was driven by weather-influenced higher demand, lower
operation and maintenance costs and the tailwind from the share
The capital expenditure budget of $3.5 billion over the 2012
through 2016 period directed towards smaller business projects
and the upgrade of its infrastructure will enable the utility to
improve future earnings. In addition, investments made under its
"Power the Future" plan have also boosted the performance of the
In December 2012, the company raised its quarterly dividend rate
to 34 cents. The annual dividend of $1.36 per share results in a
dividend yield of 3.58%, higher than the industry average of
2.25%, making the shares attractive.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 moved higher by 0.4% to
$2.32 per share over the last 90 days, which reflects
year-over-year growth of 6.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for
2013 increased 0.4% to $2.40 per share over the same period, an
estimated year-over-year rise of 3.4%.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other than Wisconsin Energy, there are a few more electric
utilities performing well and holding a favorable Zacks Rank. The
stocks also worth considering are
Integrys Energy Group Inc.
). Both currently have a short-term Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
AMEREN CORP (AEE): Free Stock Analysis Report
INTEGRYS ENERGY (TEG): Free Stock Analysis
WISC ENERGY CP (WEC): Free Stock Analysis
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