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Macquarie lowers rating on Alliant Energy

Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc. on Jan. 24 downgraded Alliant Energy Corp. to "neutral" from "outperform" and lowered its 2019 EPS estimate.

"LNT had an exceptionally strong 2016 and we don't see any near-term catalysts that should further boost the stock's ~5% PE premium vs peers," Macquarie analyst James Ward said in a research note.

In 2016, Alliant utility Wisconsin Power and Light Co. was authorized an estimated $9.4 million electric rate increase and a $9.4 million, two-step gas rate hike, both based on a 10% ROE and a calendar-2017 test year. (Docket No. 6680-UR-120)

Meanwhile, another Alliant subsidiary, Interstate Power & Light Co., received the approval from Iowa regulators allowing for the expansion of its wind generation resources by up to 500 MW in the state. Alliant is also planning to transfer its 99-MW Franklin County Wind Farm to IPL in the first quarter of 2017.