CenterPoint Energy (CNP) Shares Gap Up Following Earnings Beat

Shares of CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CNP) gapped up prior to trading on Thursday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The stock had previously closed at $26.86, but opened at $27.00. CenterPoint Energy shares last traded at $27.00, with a volume of 5530000 shares traded.

The utilities provider reported $0.33 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.29 by $0.04. CenterPoint Energy had a return on equity of 16.00% and a net margin of 6.59%. The firm had revenue of $2.64 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.33 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.26 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 26.8% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 8th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 15th will be paid a $0.2775 dividend. This represents a $1.11 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.11%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 14th. This is a boost from CenterPoint Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.27. CenterPoint Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 80.43%.

CNP has been the subject of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised CenterPoint Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $31.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. SunTrust Banks set a $27.00 price objective on CenterPoint Energy and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, February 12th. Citigroup raised their price objective on CenterPoint Energy from $27.00 to $30.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, November 20th. Finally, Guggenheim cut CenterPoint Energy from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, December 4th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. CenterPoint Energy currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $29.11.

In related news, CEO Scott M. Prochazka sold 1,000 shares of CenterPoint Energy stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.91, for a total transaction of $27,910.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 3,000 shares of company stock worth $85,410. 0.20% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. KCM Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 2.9% during the fourth quarter. KCM Investment Advisors LLC now owns 68,223 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,935,000 after buying an additional 1,936 shares during the last quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB boosted its position in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 10.1% during the fourth quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 38,177 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,083,000 after buying an additional 3,503 shares during the last quarter. Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV boosted its position in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 890.4% during the fourth quarter. Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV now owns 17,768 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $995,000 after buying an additional 15,974 shares during the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 70.7% during the fourth quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 291,080 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $8,257,000 after buying an additional 120,596 shares during the last quarter. Finally, OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. boosted its position in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 37.5% during the fourth quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 30,800 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $873,000 after buying an additional 8,400 shares during the last quarter. 76.52% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

The company has a market cap of $11,640.00, a PE ratio of 19.57, a PEG ratio of 3.01 and a beta of 0.56. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.08, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 0.91.

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CenterPoint Energy Company Profile

CenterPoint Energy, Inc is a public utility holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates electric transmission and distribution facilities, and natural gas distribution facilities. The Electric Transmission & Distribution segment provides electric transmission and distribution services to retail electric providers.

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