Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) Upgraded to Overweight at Barclays

Barclays upgraded shares of Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, 24/7 WallStreet reports. Barclays currently has $98.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock, down from their previous price target of $99.00.

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on Duke Energy from $95.00 to $96.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Thursday, October 17th. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on Duke Energy from $95.00 to $98.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Monday, September 9th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on Duke Energy from $91.00 to $102.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Monday, October 14th. SunTrust Banks lowered their price objective on Duke Energy to $90.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research note on Monday, November 11th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lowered their price objective on Duke Energy from $100.00 to $96.00 and set a market perform rating for the company in a research note on Monday, November 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $94.27.

Shares of DUK traded up $0.48 on Thursday, reaching $87.14. The stock had a trading volume of 5,762,814 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,164,935. The firm has a market capitalization of $63.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.46, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.56 and a beta of 0.07. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.24, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a current ratio of 0.72. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $93.42 and a 200-day simple moving average of $90.65. Duke Energy has a 12-month low of $82.46 and a 12-month high of $97.37.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, November 8th. The utilities provider reported $1.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.69 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $6.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.24 billion. Duke Energy had a return on equity of 8.24% and a net margin of 14.10%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.65 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Duke Energy will post 5.01 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 15th will be paid a $0.945 dividend. This represents a $3.78 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.34%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 14th. Duke Energy’s dividend payout ratio is currently 80.08%.

In other news, EVP Douglas F. Esamann sold 4,430 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $92.44, for a total value of $409,509.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 64,722 shares in the company, valued at $5,982,901.68. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Lloyd M. Yates sold 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.81, for a total value of $1,816,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 41,154 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,737,194.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 25,102 shares of company stock valued at $2,288,869 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.09% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Duke Energy by 1.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 59,914,178 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,286,827,000 after acquiring an additional 1,102,963 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Duke Energy by 1.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 50,433,503 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,450,250,000 after acquiring an additional 888,787 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its holdings in shares of Duke Energy by 4.9% in the third quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 21,318,682 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,043,609,000 after acquiring an additional 990,017 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Duke Energy by 43.9% in the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 11,711,714 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,033,443,000 after acquiring an additional 3,574,870 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp grew its holdings in shares of Duke Energy by 6.1% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 9,852,985 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $869,427,000 after acquiring an additional 566,287 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 60.32% of the company’s stock.

About Duke Energy

Duke Energy Corp. engages in distribution of natural gas and energy related services. It operates through the following segments: Electric Utilities and Infrastructure, Gas Utilities and Infrastructure, and Commercial Renewables. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure segment conducts operations primarily through the regulated public utilities of Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Progress, Duke Energy Florida, Duke Energy Indiana and Duke Energy Ohio.

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