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 research report issued to clients and investors on Friday, Zacks.com reports. The firm presently has a $90.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 5.76% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Duke Energy's share have outperformed its industry in past 12 months. Duke Energy strongly focuses on expanding its scale of operations and implement modern technologies at the company’s facilities by investing heavily in infrastructure and expansion projects. The company expects to invest about $37 billion in its overall growth projects during the 2019-2023 period. This investment plan will drive earnings base growth in the company’s combined electric and gas businesses by approximately 6%, over the next five years. However, massive debt levels can turn out to be a major headwind for the company. Currently, Duke Energy’s strategy includes generation of cleaner energy, due to which it is anticipated to incur environmental compliance cost of $2.78 billion for the 2019-2023 period. Such costs may dampen its bottom-line growth.”

DUK has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Duke Energy from $85.00 to $88.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 12th. Bank of America raised their target price on shares of Duke Energy from $89.00 to $91.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, March 11th. Credit Suisse Group downgraded shares of Duke Energy from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, February 15th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Duke Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 3rd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $90.00 target price on shares of Duke Energy and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, May 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $87.60.

Shares of NYSE:DUK traded down $0.43 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $85.10. 28,427 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,055,537. Duke Energy has a fifty-two week low of $71.96 and a fifty-two week high of $91.67. The company has a quick ratio of 0.49, a current ratio of 0.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.25. The firm has a market cap of $62.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.04, a PEG ratio of 3.58 and a beta of 0.06.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 9th. The utilities provider reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.21 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $6.16 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.39 billion. Duke Energy had a net margin of 12.00% and a return on equity of 7.70%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.28 earnings per share. Research analysts expect that Duke Energy will post 4.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director E Marie Mckee sold 1,781 shares of Duke Energy stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.37, for a total value of $155,605.97. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 1 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $87.37. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Lloyd M. Yates sold 5,117 shares of Duke Energy stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.20, for a total transaction of $451,319.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 8,598 shares of company stock valued at $752,989. Insiders own 0.09% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its stake in shares of Duke Energy by 2.9% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 54,434,882 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,355,880,000 after buying an additional 1,539,841 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Duke Energy by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 49,544,716 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,459,023,000 after buying an additional 1,274,643 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Duke Energy by 12.8% in the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 10,099,152 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $907,451,000 after purchasing an additional 1,148,107 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in Duke Energy by 4.7% in the 4th quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 9,338,113 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $805,879,000 after purchasing an additional 415,434 shares in the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC raised its stake in Duke Energy by 41.8% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 7,411,128 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $639,581,000 after purchasing an additional 2,186,456 shares in the last quarter. 60.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Duke Energy Company Profile

Duke Energy Corp. engages in distribution of natural gas and energy related services. It operates through the following segments: Electric Utilities and Infrastructure, Gas Utilities and Infrastructure, and Commercial Renewables. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure segment conducts operations primarily through the regulated public utilities of Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Progress, Duke Energy Florida, Duke Energy Indiana and Duke Energy Ohio.

Recommended Story: Earnings Per Share (EPS)

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Duke Energy (DUK)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK)

Receive News & Ratings for Duke Energy Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Duke Energy and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.