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

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research 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 research firms have also recently commented on DUK. Citigroup boosted their price objective on Duke Energy from $74.00 to $77.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Bank of America reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $92.00 price target on shares of Duke Energy in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Duke Energy in a research note on Friday, September 1st. ValuEngine raised Duke Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $87.00 price objective on shares of Duke Energy in a report on Tuesday, August 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $86.90.

Duke Energy (NYSE DUK) traded up $0.32 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $88.37. 2,244,200 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,590,011. The company has a quick ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 0.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17. Duke Energy has a one year low of $74.95 and a one year high of $91.80. The stock has a market cap of $61,632.85, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.79, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.82 and a beta of 0.26.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates 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 during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.43 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.68 earnings per share. Duke Energy’s revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Duke Energy will post 4.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Duke Energy news, EVP Lloyd M. Yates sold 5,000 shares of the business’s 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 filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 0.07% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Financial Advisory Service Inc. grew its stake 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 buying an additional 17 shares during the last quarter. 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 shares of Duke Energy by 0.7% during the second quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. now owns 2,806 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $235,000 after buying an additional 19 shares during the period. Finally, Hudock Capital Group LLC increased its position in shares of Duke Energy by 0.3% during the second quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 8,370 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $699,000 after buying an additional 24 shares during the period. 57.34% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Duke Energy Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK)

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