Duke Energy (DUK) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Duke Energy’s hefty investment plans for the next five years is expected to improve its business by generating cleaner energy and bolstering its renewable asset base. Moreover, its ocus on core domestic regulated and highly-contracted renewable business, its stable financial position and streamlining of its portfolio will bode well, going forward. On the flip side, potential volatility in market prices of fuel, electricity and other renewable energy commodities could create operational risks. Unfavorable supply costs for providing full energy and capacity requirement services might have an undesirable impact on the company’s earnings as well. Additionally, Duke Energy faces challenges from severe weather conditions and natural calamities like hurricanes, which may result in breakdown and damage its infrastructure.”

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on DUK. BidaskClub upgraded Duke Energy from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada restated a buy rating and issued a $87.00 price target on shares of Duke Energy in a research note on Tuesday, August 29th. KeyCorp restated a hold rating on shares of Duke Energy in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Duke Energy from $89.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Friday, September 8th. Finally, SunTrust Banks restated a hold rating and issued a $87.00 price target on shares of Duke Energy in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $87.21.

Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) opened at $87.84 on Tuesday. Duke Energy has a 52 week low of $75.78 and a 52 week high of $91.80. The company has a quick ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 0.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17. The firm has a market capitalization of $61,289.86, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.68, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.79 and a beta of 0.26.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.59 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.56 by $0.03. Duke Energy had a return on equity of 7.54% and a net margin of 9.09%. The company had revenue of $6.48 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.43 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.68 earnings per share. Duke Energy’s quarterly revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that Duke Energy will post 4.56 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 18th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 17th will be given a dividend of $0.89 per share. This represents a $3.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.05%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 16th. Duke Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 117.49%.

In other news, EVP Lloyd M. Yates sold 5,000 shares of Duke Energy stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.95, for a total transaction of $449,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. 0.07% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Financial Advisory Service Inc. increased its position in Duke Energy by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Financial Advisory Service Inc. now owns 6,722 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $562,000 after acquiring an additional 17 shares during the period. Valley National Advisers Inc. increased its position in Duke Energy by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. now owns 2,671 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $219,000 after acquiring an additional 18 shares during the period. Hodges Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Duke Energy by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Hodges Capital Management Inc. now owns 7,105 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $594,000 after acquiring an additional 19 shares during the period. Accredited Investors Inc. increased its position in Duke Energy by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. now owns 2,806 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $235,000 after acquiring an additional 19 shares during the period. Finally, Hudock Capital Group LLC increased its position in Duke Energy by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 8,370 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $699,000 after acquiring an additional 24 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 57.34% of the company’s stock.

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About Duke Energy

Duke Energy Corporation (Duke Energy) is an energy company. The Company operates through three segments: Electric Utilities and Infrastructure; Gas Utilities and Infrastructure, and Commercial Renewables. The Company operates in the United States through its direct and indirect subsidiaries. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure segment provides retail electric service through the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 7.5 million customers within the Southeast and Midwest regions of the United States.

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