CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CNP) Sees Large Growth in Short Interest

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CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CNP) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest during the month of November. As of November 29th, there was short interest totalling 14,760,000 shares, a growth of 22.3% from the November 14th total of 12,070,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 5,110,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.9 days. Currently, 3.0% of the company’s stock are short sold.

In other CenterPoint Energy news, CEO Scott M. Prochazka sold 7,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.50, for a total transaction of $171,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders have sold a total of 21,000 shares of company stock worth $585,060 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.24% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vestmark Advisory Solutions Inc. boosted its stake in CenterPoint Energy by 2.5% in the 2nd quarter. Vestmark Advisory Solutions Inc. now owns 15,056 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $431,000 after purchasing an additional 368 shares during the period. Shulman DeMeo Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 3.2% during the 3rd quarter. Shulman DeMeo Asset Management LLC now owns 12,331 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $372,000 after acquiring an additional 378 shares during the period. CENTRAL TRUST Co lifted its position in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 12.5% during the 3rd quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 3,521 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $106,000 after acquiring an additional 390 shares during the period. Moody National Bank Trust Division lifted its position in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 1.8% during the 3rd quarter. Moody National Bank Trust Division now owns 25,317 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $764,000 after acquiring an additional 457 shares during the period. Finally, ETRADE Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. ETRADE Capital Management LLC now owns 21,742 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $622,000 after acquiring an additional 494 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.07% of the company’s stock.

CNP traded up $1.12 during trading on Friday, hitting $25.94. The stock had a trading volume of 13,378,907 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,063,442. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $26.57 and a 200-day moving average price of $28.28. The firm has a market cap of $12.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.21, a P/E/G ratio of 3.14 and a beta of 0.41. CenterPoint Energy has a one year low of $24.25 and a one year high of $31.42. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.12, a current ratio of 0.99 and a quick ratio of 0.83.

CenterPoint Energy (NYSE:CNP) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $2.74 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.91 billion. CenterPoint Energy had a return on equity of 14.51% and a net margin of 6.23%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 24.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.39 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that CenterPoint Energy will post 1.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 12th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 21st were paid a $0.2875 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 20th. This represents a $1.15 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.43%. CenterPoint Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 71.88%.

Several research analysts have weighed in on the company. Stifel Nicolaus raised CenterPoint Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $30.00 to $32.00 in a research report on Friday, September 6th. Wells Fargo & Co lowered CenterPoint Energy from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $26.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Monday, November 25th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $27.00 price target (down previously from $31.00) on shares of CenterPoint Energy in a research report on Monday, November 18th. SunTrust Banks lowered CenterPoint Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $27.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Friday, November 15th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $28.00 target price on shares of CenterPoint Energy in a report on Friday. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $28.64.

About CenterPoint Energy

CenterPoint Energy, Inc operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. The company's Electric Transmission & Distribution segment offers electric transmission and distribution services to retail electric providers, municipalities, electric cooperatives, and other distribution companies.

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