Ameren Target of Unusually High Options Trading (NYSE:AEE)

Ameren Co. (NYSE:AEEGet Free Report) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock investors bought 2,984 call options on the company. This is an increase of 2,268% compared to the typical daily volume of 126 call options.

Insider Activity at Ameren

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

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Ameren by 100,874.2% in the fourth quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 74,273,572 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,604,406,000 after acquiring an additional 74,200,015 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Ameren by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 32,289,721 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,335,838,000 after acquiring an additional 180,794 shares in the last quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its holdings in Ameren by 46.1% in the fourth quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 18,337,950 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,326,568,000 after acquiring an additional 5,790,342 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its holdings in Ameren by 8.0% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 13,889,994 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,302,326,000 after acquiring an additional 1,029,187 shares in the last quarter. Finally, T. Rowe Price Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in Ameren by 22.9% in the fourth quarter. T. Rowe Price Investment Management Inc. now owns 11,824,707 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,051,453,000 after acquiring an additional 2,200,700 shares in the last quarter. 79.09% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Ameren Trading Down 0.8 %

Shares of AEE stock opened at $73.18 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $19.50 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.74 and a beta of 0.44. The company has a quick ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.32. Ameren has a fifty-two week low of $67.03 and a fifty-two week high of $91.18. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $70.97 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $73.93.

Ameren (NYSE:AEEGet Free Report) last posted its earnings results on Friday, February 23rd. The utilities provider reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.61 by ($0.01). Ameren had a return on equity of 10.42% and a net margin of 15.36%. The firm had revenue of $1.62 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.03 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.63 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 20.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Ameren will post 4.58 EPS for the current year.

Ameren Increases Dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 29th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 13th were given a dividend of $0.67 per share. This is a boost from Ameren’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. This represents a $2.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.66%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, March 12th. Ameren’s payout ratio is presently 61.33%.

Analyst Ratings Changes

A number of brokerages have recently commented on AEE. StockNews.com downgraded shares of Ameren from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, February 26th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Ameren from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, December 18th. Barclays boosted their target price on shares of Ameren from $72.00 to $74.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, March 14th. Evercore ISI downgraded shares of Ameren from an “outperform” rating to an “in-line” rating in a report on Friday, December 15th. Finally, Bank of America downgraded shares of Ameren from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their target price for the company from $82.00 to $77.00 in a report on Thursday, January 4th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat, the company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $80.11.

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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 business.

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