Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday morning.

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, buoys optimism. Moreover, over the next 10 years, Duke Energy plans to strengthen its energy delivery system by investing $25 billion to create a more modern, smarter energy grid. The company has also been pursuing additional generation projects, such as dual-fuel capabilities, and combined heat and power facilities to increase the flexibility of its system. Duke Energy also pursues a systematic asset divestment initiative. Moreover, it outperformed the broader industry in the last year. Yet, potential volatility in market prices of fuel, electricity and other renewable energy commodities could create operational risks for the company. In addition, adverse outcome from pending regulatory cases may negatively impact Duke Energy’s earnings.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on DUK. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a buy rating and issued a $87.00 target price on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, August 29th. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on shares of Duke Energy Corporation from $89.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research report on Friday, September 8th. KeyCorp reiterated a hold rating on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a hold rating and issued a $84.00 target price (up previously from $83.00) on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Duke Energy Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $83.11.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) opened at 87.28 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $86.37 and its 200 day moving average is $84.21. The company has a market cap of $61.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.85 and a beta of 0.25. Duke Energy Corporation has a 12-month low of $72.34 and a 12-month high of $88.40.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.01. Duke Energy Corporation had a net margin of 9.89% and a return on equity of 7.72%. The business had revenue of $5.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.76 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.07 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Duke Energy Corporation will post $4.60 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 18th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.89 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 16th. This is an increase from Duke Energy Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.86. This represents a $3.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.08%. Duke Energy Corporation’s payout ratio is 105.64%.

In other Duke Energy Corporation news, EVP Douglas F. Esamann sold 5,000 shares of Duke Energy Corporation stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $86.22, for a total transaction of $431,100.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 50,316 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,338,245.52. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.07% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Winfield Associates Inc. raised its stake in Duke Energy Corporation by 14.3% during the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,322 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $111,000 after purchasing an additional 165 shares during the period. Jolley Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Duke Energy Corporation by 26.4% during the second quarter. Jolley Asset Management LLC now owns 1,499 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $125,000 after purchasing an additional 313 shares during the period. North Star Investment Management Corp. raised its stake in Duke Energy Corporation by 26.2% during the first quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. now owns 1,552 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $127,000 after purchasing an additional 322 shares during the period. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. purchased a new position in Duke Energy Corporation during the second quarter worth about $130,000. Finally, Advantage Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Duke Energy Corporation by 37.4% during the first quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC now owns 1,697 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $139,000 after purchasing an additional 462 shares during the period. 56.22% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Duke Energy Corporation 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 Corporation (NYSE:DUK)

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