Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) to “Buy”

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $98.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 12.26% from the stock’s current price.

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.”

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the company. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and set a $87.00 price objective (up from $85.00) on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a research report on Friday, August 4th. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on Duke Energy Corporation from $87.00 to $89.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating and set a $84.00 price objective (up from $83.00) on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Duke Energy Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. Duke Energy Corporation currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $83.18.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE DUK) opened at 87.30 on Friday. Duke Energy Corporation has a 12 month low of $72.34 and a 12 month high of $88.40. The firm has a market capitalization of $61.11 billion, a PE ratio of 25.86 and a beta of 0.25. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $86.68 and its 200-day moving average is $84.33.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.01. The firm had revenue of $5.56 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate 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 period in the prior year, the company posted $1.07 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Duke Energy Corporation will post $4.60 EPS for the current year.

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In other Duke Energy Corporation news, EVP Douglas F. Esamann sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $86.22, for a total value of $431,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 50,316 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,338,245.52. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.07% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Winfield Associates Inc. increased its stake in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 14.3% in the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,322 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 165 shares during the period. Jolley Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 26.4% in the second quarter. Jolley Asset Management LLC now owns 1,499 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 313 shares during the period. North Star Investment Management Corp. increased its stake in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 26.2% in the first quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. now owns 1,552 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 322 shares during the period. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Duke Energy Corporation in the second quarter valued at about $130,000. Finally, Advantage Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 37.4% in the first quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC now owns 1,697 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 462 shares during the period. 56.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Duke Energy Corporation Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK)

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