Trading Report: The Duke Energy Corp. (DUK) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

The Duke Energy Corp. (DUK) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

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

According to Zacks, “Being a premier utility service provider, Duke Energy invests heavily in infrastructure and expansion projects. The company has undertaken several projects and plans to invest about $25 billion to $30 billion in growth projects over the 2016-2020 time frame. Further, we appreciate Duke Energy’s efforts to expand its renewable asset base in light of increasingly stringent environmental regulations. Going ahead, stringent environmental regulations, pending regulatory cases, volatile commodity prices, severe weather patterns and foreign exchange risks may hinder Duke Energy’s performance. That said, the company’s stable regulated operations, the Piedmont Natural Gas acquisition, a systematic capital investment program, renewable asset expansion and organized transition toward a more focused business mix will likely provide tailwinds.”

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on DUK. Mizuho lifted their target price on Duke Energy Corp. from $75.00 to $80.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Argus reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Duke Energy Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. Howard Weil lifted their target price on Duke Energy Corp. from $78.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a sector perform rating in a research report on Monday, August 8th. SunTrust Banks Inc. cut their target price on Duke Energy Corp. from $83.00 to $81.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, August 29th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. boosted their price objective on Duke Energy Corp. from $72.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $80.23.

Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) traded down 0.5425% on Tuesday, reaching $77.0398. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,133,272 shares. The firm has a market cap of $53.08 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.3647 and a beta of 0.13. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $80.49 and a 200 day moving average of $81.24. Duke Energy Corp. has a 12 month low of $65.50 and a 12 month high of $87.75.

Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $5.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.71 billion. Duke Energy Corp. had a return on equity of 7.85% and a net margin of 11.39%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.95 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Duke Energy Corp. will post $4.59 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Investors of record on Friday, August 12th were paid a dividend of $0.855 per share. This represents a $3.42 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.42%. This is a positive change from Duke Energy Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.83. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 10th. Duke Energy Corp.’s payout ratio is presently 90.24%.

In related news, EVP Douglas F. Esamann sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.58, for a total transaction of $253,740.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 50,609 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,280,509.22. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.08% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Fulton Bank N.A. raised its position in shares of Duke Energy Corp. by 1.8% in the third quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 44,486 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,561,000 after buying an additional 773 shares in the last quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Duke Energy Corp. by 7.5% in the third quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 8,832 shares of the company’s stock worth $707,000 after buying an additional 619 shares in the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank raised its position in shares of Duke Energy Corp. by 10.3% in the third quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 4,566 shares of the company’s stock worth $365,000 after buying an additional 427 shares in the last quarter. LVM Capital Management Ltd. MI raised its position in shares of Duke Energy Corp. by 30.3% in the third quarter. LVM Capital Management Ltd. MI now owns 9,494 shares of the company’s stock worth $704,000 after buying an additional 2,207 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Beacon Financial Group raised its position in shares of Duke Energy Corp. by 1.0% in the third quarter. Beacon Financial Group now owns 109,649 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,806,000 after buying an additional 1,040 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 56.56% of the company’s stock.

Duke Energy Corp. Company Profile

Duke Energy Corporation (Duke Energy) is an energy company. The Company’s segments include Regulated Utilities, International Energy and Commercial Portfolio. Duke Energy’s subsidiaries include its subsidiary registrants: Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (Duke Energy Carolinas); Progress Energy, Inc (Progress Energy); Duke Energy Progress, LLC (Duke Energy Progress); Duke Energy Florida, LLC (Duke Energy Florida); Duke Energy Ohio, Inc (Duke Energy Ohio), and Duke Energy Indiana, Inc (Duke Energy Indiana).

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