Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Friday morning. They currently have $98.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock.

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.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on DUK. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on Duke Energy Corporation from $87.00 to $89.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. BMO Capital Markets restated a hold rating and issued a $87.00 price target (up previously from $85.00) on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a report on Friday, August 4th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a hold rating and issued a $84.00 price target (up previously from $83.00) on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. BidaskClub upgraded Duke Energy Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a buy rating and issued a $87.00 price target on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a report on Tuesday, August 29th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $83.18.

Shares of Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) opened at 86.06 on Friday. Duke Energy Corporation has a 52 week low of $72.34 and a 52 week high of $88.40. The firm has a market capitalization of $60.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.49 and a beta of 0.25. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $86.72 and a 200-day moving average price of $84.38.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.01. The business had revenue of $5.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.76 billion. Duke Energy Corporation had a return on equity of 7.72% and a net margin of 9.89%. The company’s revenue was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.07 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Duke Energy Corporation will post $4.60 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 18th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 18th were issued a dividend of $0.89 per share. This is a boost from Duke Energy Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.86. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 16th. This represents a $3.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.14%. Duke Energy Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 105.64%.

In other news, EVP Douglas F. Esamann sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $86.22, for a total transaction of $431,100.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 50,316 shares in the company, valued at $4,338,245.52. The transaction 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 company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 3.2% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 50,043,241 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,183,115,000 after purchasing an additional 1,572,216 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 1.2% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 43,215,514 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,612,384,000 after purchasing an additional 506,596 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 1.3% during the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 33,919,431 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,781,737,000 after purchasing an additional 451,100 shares during the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA boosted its holdings in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 1.5% during the second quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 9,473,847 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $791,919,000 after purchasing an additional 141,551 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its holdings in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 33.1% during the first quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 9,422,063 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $772,704,000 after purchasing an additional 2,345,114 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 56.22% of the company’s stock.

About Duke Energy Corporation

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.

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