Goldman Sachs Upgrades Cleco (CNL) to Buy, Premium Multiple Warranted

October 23, 2012 7:14 AM EDT Send to a Friend
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Price: $54.43 --0%

Rating Summary:
    1 Buy, 6 Hold, 0 Sell

Rating Trend: Up Up

Today's Overall Ratings:
    Up: 15 | Down: 38 | New: 13
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Goldman Sachs upgraded Cleco (NYSE: CNL) from Neutral to Buy with a price target of $45.00 (from $44.00).

The firm cites: 1) sizable free cash flow after 2012, (2) above average dividend growth of 10%-15% annually through 2014 and (3) above average EPS growth, as we expect the state utility regulator will approve CNL's effort to transfer the Coughlin plant into its utility rate base.

Goldman adjusted 2012/13/14 EPS estimates to $2.37/$2.59/$2.92 from $2.37/$2.61/$2.92 – to reflect slightly lower national demand forecasts impacting 2013 estimates – and remain 1%-2% above consensus for 2013-2014.

Note: this is the second upgrade of Cleco today. Wells Fargo also upgraded the shares.

For an analyst ratings summary and ratings history on Cleco click here. For more ratings news on Cleco click here.

Shares of Cleco closed at $41.61 yesterday.

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