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Company Profile: New York City-based Consolidated Edison, through its subsidiaries, provides electric, gas, and steam utility services in the United States.
On Jan. 20, ConEd declared a half-cent increase to its quarterly cash dividend, paying 60 cents per share.
The higher payout will be available on March 15 to shareholders of record on Feb. 16, bringing ConEd's yield to around 4.7%.
ConEd said it expects earnings from ongoing operations for fiscal 2011 to be in a range of $3.45 to $3.65 per share, in line with analysts' consensus call for full-year EPS of $3.50 per share.
Jefferies analysts reiterated a hold rating on ConEd shares, noting that the utility company is a low-risk transmission and distribution utility with strong earnings and solid dividend growth potential.
The equities research firm raised their price target on ConEd by a dollar to $53 after the company released its 2011 guidance.
Jefferies maintained its fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2011 EPS estimates at $3.50 and $3.65, respectively, but conceded that it believes ConEd's recent 3-year electric rate plan will provide benefits to both ratepayers and shareholders.
-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.