Spire Inc. (NYSE:SR)’s share price hit a new 52-week high during trading on Wednesday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock traded as high as $74.10 and last traded at $73.95, with a volume of 39,742 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $73.40.
The utilities provider reported $0.44 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.39 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $323.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $293.99 million. Spire had a net margin of 9.12% and a return on equity of 8.77%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 29.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.33 EPS.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 11th will be issued a dividend of $0.525 per share. This represents a $2.10 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.80%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 8th. Spire’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 60.17%.
Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on shares of Spire from $68.00 to $73.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $73.00 target price on shares of Spire in a report on Wednesday. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $71.00 target price on shares of Spire in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Spire from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Spire currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $71.43.
Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust boosted its stake in Spire by 34.2% in the first quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 1,597 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 407 shares in the last quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Spire during the second quarter worth about $124,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Spire by 13.0% in the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,793 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $125,000 after buying an additional 206 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake 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 buying an additional 144 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. boosted its stake in Spire by 30.7% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,147 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $149,000 after buying an additional 504 shares in the last quarter. 74.68% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $71.68 and its 200-day moving average price is $68.70. The company has a market cap of $3.62 billion, a PE ratio of 21.68 and a beta of 0.33.
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Spire Company Profile
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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