Empire District Electric Co (EDE) Shares Jump 16% on $2.4 Billion Acquisition Deal

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Shares of Empire District Electric Co (NYSE:EDE) are up big today after it has been announced that they have reached a deal with Algonquin Power & Utilities to be acquired for $2.4 billion. The resulting transaction will see shareholders receive $34 per common stock share — a 21% premium over the closing price on February 8, 2016.

“The acquisition of Empire represents a continuation of our disciplined growth strategy which strengthens and diversifies Algonquin’s existing businesses and strategically expands our regulated utility footprint in the mid-west United States. The addition of this large, well run utility to the Algonquin family will support our 10% annual dividend growth target through significant accretion to shareholder cash flows and earnings,” commented Ian Robertson, Chief Executive Officer of APUC. Empire’s service territories, business lines and corporate culture are highly complementary to Liberty Utilities and we will continue Empire’s history of prudently investing in its systems, communities and employees.”

The stock is up 16.28% or $4.59 following the news, hitting $32.79 per share. About 4.24 million shares traded hands or up 934.34% from the average. EDE has risen 24.17% since July 7, 2015 and is currently uptrending. It has outperformed the S&P500 by 33.65%.

From a total of 2 analysts covering Empire District Elec (NYSE:EDE) stock, 2 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 0 a “Hold”. This means that 100% of the ratings are positive. Empire District Elec was the topic of 2 analyst reports since October 14, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. KeyBanc Capital Markets initiated shares on December 8 with a “Overweight” rating.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.34 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.31, from 1.03 in 2015Q2. The ratio improved, as 12 funds sold all their Empire District Electric Co shares they owned while 35 reduced their positions. 7 funds bought stakes while 56 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 28.92 million shares which is 45.15% more than the previous share count of 19.92 million in 2015Q2.

Community Bank Of Raymore holds 2.34% of its total portfolio in Empire District Electric Co, equating to 185,081 shares. Aristotle Capital Boston Llc owns 214,463 shares representing 1.15% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Eagle Boston Investment Management Inc has 1.02% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 344,970 shares. The North Dakota-based Bell State Bank & Trust has a total of 0.7% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Old Republic International Corp, a Illinois-based fund reported 467,500 shares owned.

The Empire District Electric Company is a regulated utility company. The company has a market cap of $1.44 billion. The Firm is engaged in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity. It has 25.27 P/E ratio. It provides its services with in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

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