1. Empire District Electric
Fitch Ratings highlights sub-$1 billion regulated utility Empire District Electric (EDE) as a potential takeover target. The company has a market cap of $866.8 million and it currently has suspended its dividend.Joplin, M.O -based Empire District Electric had to suspend its dividend in May after a category five leveled the city, killing 160 people and injuring nearly 1000 more, creating billions in damages. The public utility generates, purchases, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas via its electricity and gas units. The 102 year old company serves nearly 170,000 electricity customers and an additional 44,487 gas customers. Fitch notes that the company operates in four regulatory jurisdictions, all of which would have to approve any merger or takeover. The company is expected to earn 20 cents a share when it reports fourth quarter earnings on Feb. 2, according to Zacks consensus estimates. Empire District Electric is expected to have revenue of $573 million and net profits of $57 million in 2011, according to Bloomberg consensus estimates. In 2012, those sales and profit numbers are expected to rise to $606 million and $58 million, respectively. In May, the company suspended its 25 cent a share dividend for an expected two quarters. In 2010, the company paid out $1.28 in dividends, but has not yet announced a resumption. Analysts give Empire District Electric an average price target of $22 a share, a 6.33% premium to the company's current share price of $20.69. For more on Empire District Electric's shares, see the portfolio of 8 high yield defensive stocks. In 2011, the company's shares fell over 5%, recovering from a near 20% share drop in the days after the Joplin, M.O.-tornado. In 2006, Empire acquired natural gas distribution rights from Aquila, expanding its Midwestern footprint. -- Written by Antoine Gara in New York
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV