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Short Interest in Ameren Co. (NYSE:AEE) Increases By 17.8%

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Ameren Co. (NYSE:AEE – Get Rating) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in the month of September. As of September 15th, there was short interest totalling 5,150,000 shares, a growth of 17.8% from the August 31st total of 4,370,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 1,290,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.0 days.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

AEE has been the topic of several research reports. BMO Capital Markets increased their price target on shares of Ameren from $98.00 to $103.00 and gave the stock an "outperform" rating in a report on Friday, September 9th. Mizuho upped their price objective on Ameren from $92.00 to $98.00 and gave the stock a "neutral" rating in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on Ameren from $101.00 to $99.00 and set an "overweight" rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. UBS Group lowered Ameren from a "buy" rating to a "neutral" rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $94.00 to $96.00 in a research report on Thursday, June 30th. Finally, Barclays lowered their price objective on Ameren from $99.00 to $91.00 and set an "equal weight" rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 18th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company has an average rating of "Moderate Buy" and a consensus price target of $99.13.

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Insider Activity

In related news, Chairman Warner L. Baxter sold 54,000 shares of the company's stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.19, for a total value of $5,032,260.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 267,893 shares of the company's stock, valued at $24,964,948.67. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. In other Ameren news, Chairman Warner L. Baxter sold 54,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.19, for a total transaction of $5,032,260.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 267,893 shares of the company's stock, valued at $24,964,948.67. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Rafael Flores sold 1,600 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.07, for a total transaction of $153,712.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 14,178 shares of the company's stock, valued at $1,362,080.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.52% of the company's stock.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in shares of Ameren by 493.3% in the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 4,654,972 shares of the utilities provider's stock worth $436,452,000 after acquiring an additional 3,870,393 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Ameren by 933.4% in the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,523,881 shares of the utilities provider's stock worth $135,641,000 after acquiring an additional 1,376,417 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Ameren by 8.0% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 13,889,994 shares of the utilities provider's stock worth $1,302,326,000 after acquiring an additional 1,029,187 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ameren by 3.9% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,753,782 shares of the utilities provider's stock worth $1,847,293,000 after acquiring an additional 786,490 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its stake in shares of Ameren by 46.5% in the 1st quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 2,397,635 shares of the utilities provider's stock worth $224,803,000 after acquiring an additional 761,460 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.98% of the company's stock.

Ameren Price Performance

Shares of NYSE:AEE traded up $2.32 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $82.87. 61,155 shares of the company's stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,350,249. Ameren has a 1 year low of $80.27 and a 1 year high of $99.20. The company has a market cap of $21.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.26, a PEG ratio of 2.74 and a beta of 0.43. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.30, a quick ratio of 0.50 and a current ratio of 0.67. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $92.42 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $91.80.

Ameren (NYSE:AEE – Get Rating) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts' consensus estimates of $0.81 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $1.73 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts' expectations of $1.52 billion. Ameren had a net margin of 14.49% and a return on equity of 10.19%. The company's quarterly revenue was up 17.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.80 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Ameren will post 4.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Ameren Dividend Announcement

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, September 7th were issued a $0.59 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 6th. This represents a $2.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.85%. Ameren's payout ratio is currently 60.51%.

About Ameren

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Ameren Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. It operates through four segments: Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution, Ameren Illinois Natural Gas, and Ameren Transmission. The company engages in the rate-regulated electric generation, transmission, and distribution activities; and rate-regulated natural gas distribution and transmission businesses.

Further Reading

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