Short Interest in ALLETE Inc (NYSE:ALE) Expands By 39.6%

ALLETE Inc (NYSE:ALE) saw a significant increase in short interest in the month of July. As of July 15th, there was short interest totalling 856,600 shares, an increase of 39.6% from the June 30th total of 613,800 shares. Approximately 1.7% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 412,500 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.1 days.

Shares of NYSE ALE opened at $59.30 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $57.10 and its 200-day moving average price is $64.38. ALLETE has a 1-year low of $48.22 and a 1-year high of $88.60. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.94 and a beta of 0.32. The company has a current ratio of 0.44, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59.

ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, May 6th. The utilities provider reported $1.28 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.14 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $311.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $330.75 million. ALLETE had a return on equity of 7.86% and a net margin of 15.18%. The firm’s revenue was down 12.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.18 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that ALLETE will post 3.36 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.6175 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 13th. This represents a $2.47 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.17%. ALLETE’s dividend payout ratio is 74.17%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Comerica Bank increased its stake in ALLETE by 5.3% during the 2nd quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 33,411 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,006,000 after purchasing an additional 1,682 shares in the last quarter. Hussman Strategic Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of ALLETE during the second quarter valued at about $819,000. Brinker Capital Inc. increased its position in shares of ALLETE by 29.0% during the second quarter. Brinker Capital Inc. now owns 16,873 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $921,000 after acquiring an additional 3,793 shares in the last quarter. Moody Aldrich Partners LLC raised its holdings in shares of ALLETE by 87.0% in the 2nd quarter. Moody Aldrich Partners LLC now owns 139,401 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $7,613,000 after acquiring an additional 64,866 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State of Michigan Retirement System lifted its position in ALLETE by 31.8% in the 2nd quarter. State of Michigan Retirement System now owns 18,850 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,029,000 after acquiring an additional 4,550 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 74.04% of the company’s stock.

ALE has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their price target on shares of ALLETE from $70.00 to $64.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, June 1st. Zacks Investment Research lowered ALLETE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 11th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lowered their target price on ALLETE from $86.00 to $57.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, May 7th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $64.00.

ALLETE Company Profile

ALLETE, Inc operates as an energy company. The company operates through three segments: Regulated Operations, ALLETE Clean Energy, and U.S. Water Services. It generates electricity from coal-fired, wind, hydroelectric, natural gas-fired, biomass co-fired, solar, and other sources. The company provides regulated utility electric, natural gas, and water services in northwestern Wisconsin to approximately 15,000 electric customers, 13,000 natural gas customers, and 10,000 water customers, as well as regulated utility electric services in northeastern Minnesota to approximately 145,000 retail customers and 16 non-affiliated municipal customers.

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