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Jefferies lowers view on AEP; UBS initiates Pattern Energy coverage

Upgrades

Evercore ISI on Sept. 26 upgraded ConsolidatedEdison Inc. to "hold" from "sell," aftersubsidiary Consolidated EdisonCo. of New York Inc. reached a settlement over its electric and gasrate plans. The brokerage also raised its price target on Con Edison to $76from $72.50.

EvercoreISI estimates Con Edison's full-year EPS at $4 for 2016, $4.10 for 2017, and$4.30 for 2018, an adjustment from earlier forecasts of $4 for 2016, $4.15 for2017 and $4.35 for 2018.


UBSSecurities LLC on Sept. 19 upgradedXcel Energy Inc. to "neutral"from "sell" and retained its price target of $40. The upgrade was drivenby the company's increased regulated capital expenditures, includinginvestments in renewables and improved earned ROE prospects.

Downgrade

JefferiesLLC on Sept. 20 downgradedAmerican Electric Power Co. Inc.to "hold" from "buy" following the company's recentannouncement that it will sell four Midwest power plants to two private equityfirms.

Coverage initiations

UBSSecurities LLC on Sept. 27 initiatedcoverage of Pattern Energy GroupInc. with a "neutral" rating and a $24 price target.While the brokerage views Pattern Energy as reasonably attractive independentyieldco, the focus is now on its potential transition to a full developmentcompany.


S&P Global Equity Research on Sept. 19 initiated starscoverage on OGE Energy Corp.with a "buy" opinion and a $34 target price. The firm also providedfull-year EPS estimates of $1.78 for 2016 and $1.89 for 2017.

"We see OGE's capital spending, focused on theregulated utility, helping to drive EPS growth. While we see above peersnear-term dividend growth, we see the payout ratio rising and leading to slowerdividend growth beyond 2019," S&P Global Equity Research analysts said.

Notable reiterations

Macquarie Capital Inc.'stop pick among small- to mid-cap regulated utilities, after the companyannounced its planned purchase of Appalachian gas gathering assets.

Macquarieapplauded the deal in a research note. "We trust management's conservatismand discipline, and believe that the risk-adjusted growth from these assets shouldbe well received," the firm said. "We see these assets as attractivestrategically given their location, contracts, diversified list of customers,potential for expansion and interconnection with DTE's existing systems."


MizuhoSecurities USA Inc. on Sept. 25 reaffirmed its "buy" rating on8point3 Energy Partners LP,following the company's releaseof it third-quarter earnings.

"CAFD's3Q16 results met or exceeded expectations for the third consecutive quarter.Its $100M capital raise to fund the recently announced Henrietta transactionwas reasonably priced, in our view, supporting its projected 12-15%distribution growth," analyst James von Riesemann said.

Mizuhoalso revised its full-year EPS estimates on the company to $1.09 from 95 centsfor 2016, and to $1.05 from 91 cents for 2017.