WEC Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE:WEC) Short Interest Up 25.6% in February

WEC Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE:WECGet Free Report) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in the month of February. As of February 15th, there was short interest totalling 7,940,000 shares, an increase of 25.6% from the January 31st total of 6,320,000 shares. Currently, 2.5% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 2,300,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.5 days.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. StockNews.com downgraded shares of WEC Energy Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, January 13th. Barclays lowered their price objective on shares of WEC Energy Group from $79.00 to $75.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. Royal Bank of Canada decreased their price target on shares of WEC Energy Group from $95.00 to $90.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. KeyCorp increased their price target on shares of WEC Energy Group from $94.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Mizuho decreased their price target on shares of WEC Energy Group from $88.00 to $86.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, December 18th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, WEC Energy Group has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $86.17.

Read Our Latest Report on WEC

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other WEC Energy Group news, CEO Scott J. Lauber sold 2,830 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.89, for a total value of $223,258.70. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 43,125 shares in the company, valued at $3,402,131.25. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. In related news, Chairman Gale E. Klappa sold 37,180 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.69, for a total transaction of $2,925,694.20. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 274,782 shares in the company, valued at $21,622,595.58. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Scott J. Lauber sold 2,830 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.89, for a total transaction of $223,258.70. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 43,125 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,402,131.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.34% of the company’s stock.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On WEC Energy Group

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of WEC. Northwest Bank & Trust Co purchased a new position in shares of WEC Energy Group in the 4th quarter worth $25,000. Tennessee Valley Asset Management Partners purchased a new position in shares of WEC Energy Group in the 4th quarter worth $26,000. Achmea Investment Management B.V. purchased a new position in shares of WEC Energy Group in the 1st quarter worth $27,000. Valued Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of WEC Energy Group in the 4th quarter worth $28,000. Finally, First Manhattan Co. grew its stake in shares of WEC Energy Group by 102.0% in the 4th quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 303 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $28,000 after buying an additional 153 shares in the last quarter. 75.75% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

WEC Energy Group Price Performance

Shares of WEC stock traded up $1.33 on Monday, hitting $79.72. 2,004,316 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,460,338. The firm has a market cap of $25.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.89, a PEG ratio of 2.73 and a beta of 0.40. WEC Energy Group has a 52 week low of $75.13 and a 52 week high of $99.26. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $80.64 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $82.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29, a current ratio of 0.55 and a quick ratio of 0.40.

WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WECGet Free Report) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.10 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $2.22 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.82 billion. WEC Energy Group had a net margin of 14.98% and a return on equity of 12.17%. The company’s revenue was down 13.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.80 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts predict that WEC Energy Group will post 4.88 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

WEC Energy Group Increases Dividend

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 14th were paid a dividend of $0.835 per share. This represents a $3.34 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.19%. This is a boost from WEC Energy Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.78. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, February 13th. WEC Energy Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 79.15%.

WEC Energy Group Company Profile

(Get Free Report)

WEC Energy Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides regulated natural gas and electricity, and renewable and nonregulated renewable energy services in the United States. The company operates through six segments: Wisconsin, Illinois, Other States, Electric Transmission, Non-Utility Energy Infrastructure, and Corporate and Other.

Further Reading

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