ING Groep NV Buys New Holdings in Fortis Inc. (NYSE:FTS)

ING Groep NV bought a new stake in shares of Fortis Inc. (NYSE:FTS) during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm acquired 7,530 shares of the utilities provider's stock, valued at approximately $276,000.

Several other research analysts also recently commented on FTS. Capital Analysts LLC increased its stake in shares of Fortis by 641.8% in the fourth quarter. The utilities provider reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters' consensus estimate of $0.49. Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in shares of Fortis by 1.8% during the 3rd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 3,480 shares of the utilities provider's stock valued at $122,000 after purchasing an additional 382 shares during the last quarter.

Shares of Fortis (FTS) traded down C$0.02 on Friday, reaching C$42.15. First Eagle Investment Management LLC now owns 3,966,300 shares of the utilities provider's stock worth $141,875,000 after purchasing an additional 26,267 shares during the period. Mackenzie Financial Corp increased its position in shares of Fortis by 8.3% during the 3rd quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Fortis in the fourth quarter worth $103,000.

Several brokerages recently weighed in on FTS. National Bank Financial lowered shares of Fortis from a "sector perform market weight" rating to an "underperform market weight" rating in a report on Sunday, January 28th. Raymond James Financial raised Fortis from a "market perform" rating to an "outperform" rating in a research note on Friday, February 9th. UBS Group raised Fortis from a "market perform" rating to an "outperform" rating in a research note on Friday, February 9th. CIBC raised Fortis from a "neutral" rating to a "sector outperform" rating in a research note on Thursday, February 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. Scotiabank reaffirmed a "buy" rating and issued a $51.00 target price on shares of Fortis in a report on Monday, December 4th. The company has a current ratio of 0.63, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40. Fortis has a twelve month low of $31.27 and a twelve month high of $38.24.

Fortis (TSE:FTS) had its price objective reduced by research analysts at TD Securities from C$51.00 to C$46.00 in a research report issued on Friday, February 16th. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the business will report earnings of $2.13 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.05 to $2.20. Fortis had a return on equity of 6.86% and a net margin of 11.58%. The business had revenue of $1.66 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.72 billion.

On average, analysts expect that Fortis will report full year earnings of $2.06 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.98 to $2.17. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 18th will be issued a $0.3379 dividend. This represents a $1.35 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.11%. This is a positive change from Fortis's previous quarterly dividend of $0.34. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 17th. The company has provided forward guidance which lays out dividend increases in the high-single-digit range, and expects to increase earnings per share at a double-digit clip, making this a company with great earnings growth potential in addition to a relatively solid balance sheet now.

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