Will This Price Target Increase Help American Electric Power (AEP) Stock Today?

Story updated at 10 a.m. to reflect market activity.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- UBS (UBS) raised its price target for American Electric Power (AEP) to $52 from $49 Monday, reiterating its 'neutral' rating for the stock.

American Electric Power gained 0.8% to $53.77 in morning trading.

The firm also raised its EPS estimates for the electricity provider. Both number increases were driven by accelerating costs into 2014.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER CO (AEP) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • AEP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER CO reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER CO increased its bottom line by earning $3.04 versus $2.60 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.34 versus $3.04).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Electric Utilities industry. The net income increased by 1547.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $21.00 million to $346.00 million.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Electric Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER CO has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,066.00 million or 19.50% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER CO's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 44.78%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AEP Ratings Report

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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