Today: Today, Sempra Energy (SRE) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Today, Sempra Energy (SRE) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Sempra Energy continues to face headwinds in the form of stringent government regulations and operational risks. Further it is exposed to foreign currency risks because of its international presence and has to invest substantially to expand its operations. Also a few pending regulatory cases for Sempra Energy’s regulated utilities are subject to approvals by regulatory bodies. Any adverse decision in the upcoming General Rate Case and Cost-of-Capital proceedings will substantially affect its utility earnings. However, the company’s future cash inflow will likely get tailwinds from LNG development prospects and renewable expansion. Steady focus on the expansion of its renewable capacity will enable the company to provide emission-free power to its customers. It is also confident of attaining 12% earnings CAGR through 2020 backed by these factors.”

Separately, Argus restated a buy rating on shares of Sempra Energy in a report on Tuesday, September 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $110.87.

Shares of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) opened at 104.01 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $26.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.47 and a beta of 0.49. Sempra Energy has a one year low of $86.72 and a one year high of $114.66. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $105.58 and its 200 day moving average price is $107.04.

Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.79 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.97 by $0.18. The firm earned $2.16 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.62 billion. Sempra Energy had a net margin of 9.56% and a return on equity of 9.49%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.03 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Sempra Energy will post $4.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, October 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 29th were issued a dividend of $0.755 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 27th. This represents a $3.02 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.90%. Sempra Energy’s payout ratio is presently 79.68%.

In other Sempra Energy news, SVP Trevor I. Mihalik sold 5,659 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.86, for a total value of $604,720.74. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 2,615 shares in the company, valued at $279,438.90. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director William P. Rutledge sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.20, for a total value of $536,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 10,838 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,161,833.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.16% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Sempra Energy by 3.0% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 15,367,180 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,752,166,000 after buying an additional 453,003 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in Sempra Energy by 0.6% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,819,959 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,347,713,000 after buying an additional 67,319 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its stake in Sempra Energy by 3.8% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 8,890,701 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,013,717,000 after buying an additional 323,028 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in Sempra Energy by 84.1% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 7,275,776 shares of the company’s stock valued at $829,585,000 after buying an additional 3,324,658 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in Sempra Energy by 6.5% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 7,270,762 shares of the company’s stock valued at $829,012,000 after buying an additional 442,955 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.54% of the company’s stock.

About Sempra Energy

Sempra Energy is a holding company. The Company’s principal operating units are San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas); Sempra International, which includes Sempra South American Utilities and Sempra Mexico segments, and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, which includes Sempra Renewables and Sempra Natural Gas segments.

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