Why Consolidated Edison, Inc. Might Be Ready to Rebound

Does this analyst make a good case or is it just more noise from Wall Street?

Feb 24, 2014 at 10:15AM

While Fools should generally take the opinion of Wall Street with a grain of salt, it's not a bad idea to take a look at particularly stock-shaking analyst upgrades and downgrades -- just in case their reasoning behind the call makes sense.

What: Shares of Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) gained about 1% in premarket trading today after Jefferies upgraded the electricity company from underperform to hold.

So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Paul Fremont boosted his price target to $58 (from $45), representing about 5% worth of upside to yesterday's close. While momentum traders might be turned off by the stock's steady decline over the past year, Fremont thinks that Consolidated's risk/reward trade-off is much improved at this point.

Now what: Wells raised its 2014 EPS view for Consolidated from $3.60 to $3.75 and its 2015 outlook from $3.80 to $3.90. "The stock currently trades at a 6% discount to our regulated group average T&D multiple and pays a 4.6% yield which is 40 bps above the average yield for large-cap regulated utilities," noted Fremont. "We believe the stock should trade at a group average multiple which results in a $58.50 price target." Given Consolidated's worrisome trend of declining revenue and still-hefty debt load, however, I'd wait for an even wider margin of safety before jumping in. 

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Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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