TransAlta (NYSE:TAC) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of TransAlta (NYSE:TAC) (TSE:TA) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “TransAlta is Canada’s largest non-regulated electric generation and marketing company. “

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of TransAlta from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, May 15th. Industrial Alliance Securities raised shares of TransAlta to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, March 26th. Credit Suisse Group raised shares of TransAlta from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a report on Monday, March 18th. TD Securities raised shares of TransAlta from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, March 26th. Finally, National Bank Financial lowered shares of TransAlta from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating in a report on Thursday, February 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $6.75.

TAC stock opened at $6.20 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04, a quick ratio of 1.34 and a current ratio of 1.63. TransAlta has a 52 week low of $3.99 and a 52 week high of $7.61. The firm’s fifty day simple moving average is $6.51.

TransAlta (NYSE:TAC) (TSE:TA) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 14th. The utilities provider reported ($0.17) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.04) by ($0.13). TransAlta had a negative net margin of 14.67% and a negative return on equity of 8.73%. The business had revenue of $487.41 million for the quarter. Research analysts expect that TransAlta will post -0.1 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 3rd will be issued a $0.03 dividend. This represents a $0.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 31st. This is a positive change from TransAlta’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.03. TransAlta’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -22.64%.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in TAC. Millennium Management LLC bought a new stake in TransAlta in the 4th quarter worth $62,000. Shell Asset Management Co. lifted its position in shares of TransAlta by 15.5% in the 1st quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 24,600 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $181,000 after purchasing an additional 3,300 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of TransAlta in the 4th quarter worth about $195,000. ARP Americas LP lifted its position in shares of TransAlta by 33.1% in the 1st quarter. ARP Americas LP now owns 30,348 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $223,000 after purchasing an additional 7,548 shares during the period. Finally, Qtron Investments LLC purchased a new stake in shares of TransAlta in the 1st quarter worth about $312,000. 49.95% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

TransAlta Company Profile

TransAlta Corporation operates as non-regulated electricity generation and energy marketing company in Canada, the United States, and Western Australia. It operates through eight segments: Canadian Coal, U.S. Coal, Canadian Gas, Australian Gas, Wind and Solar, Hydro, Energy Marketing, and Corporate. The company generates and markets electricity through various generation fuels, such as coal, natural gas, water, solar, and wind.

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