Sempra Energy (SRE) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”
Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “Sempra Energy continues to face headwinds in the form of stringent government regulations and operational risks. Further it is exposed to foreign currency risks because of its international presence and has to invest substantially to expand its operations. Also a few pending regulatory cases for Sempra Energy’s regulated utilities are subject to approvals by regulatory bodies. Any adverse decision in the upcoming General Rate Case and Cost-of-Capital proceedings will substantially affect its utility earnings. However, the company’s future cash inflow will likely get tailwinds from LNG development prospects and renewable expansion. Steady focus on the expansion of its renewable capacity will enable the company to provide emission-free power to its customers. It is also confident of attaining 12% earnings CAGR through 2020 backed by these factors.”
Separately, Argus reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Sempra Energy in a research report on Tuesday, September 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $110.87.
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Shares of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) traded up 0.80% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $103.59. 583,261 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $105.81 and its 200 day moving average is $107.07. The firm has a market cap of $25.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.35 and a beta of 0.49. Sempra Energy has a one year low of $86.72 and a one year high of $114.66.
Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.18. The business had revenue of $2.16 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.62 billion. Sempra Energy had a return on equity of 9.49% and a net margin of 9.56%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.03 EPS. Analysts predict that Sempra Energy will post $4.77 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, October 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 29th will be issued a $0.755 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 27th. This represents a $3.02 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.94%. Sempra Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 79.68%.
In related news, SVP Trevor I. Mihalik sold 5,659 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.86, for a total value of $604,720.74. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 2,615 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $279,438.90. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director William P. Rutledge sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.20, for a total transaction of $536,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 10,838 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,161,833.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.16% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SRE. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd raised its position in shares of Sempra Energy by 200.0% in the second quarter. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd now owns 900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. Riggs Asset Managment Co. Inc. bought a new position in shares of Sempra Energy during the second quarter valued at approximately $114,000. Cantab Capital Partners LLP bought a new position in shares of Sempra Energy during the second quarter valued at approximately $126,000. Pinkerton Retirement Specialists LLC bought a new position in shares of Sempra Energy during the second quarter valued at approximately $128,000. Finally, FineMark National Bank & Trust raised its position in shares of Sempra Energy by 4.3% in the second quarter. FineMark National Bank & Trust now owns 1,134 shares of the company’s stock valued at $129,000 after buying an additional 47 shares in the last quarter. 79.54% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Sempra Energy Company Profile
Sempra Energy is a holding company. The Company’s principal operating units are San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas); Sempra International, which includes Sempra South American Utilities and Sempra Mexico segments, and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, which includes Sempra Renewables and Sempra Natural Gas segments.
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