Sempra Energy (SRE) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research
Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued 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 reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Sempra Energy in a research note on Tuesday, September 20th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $110.87.
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Shares of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) traded up 0.79% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $103.58. 586,904 shares of the stock traded hands. Sempra Energy has a 52 week low of $86.72 and a 52 week high of $114.66. The company has a 50-day moving average of $105.81 and a 200-day moving average of $107.07. The firm has a market cap of $25.90 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.35 and a beta of 0.49.
Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.79 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.18. The company earned $2.16 billion during 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%. Sempra Energy’s revenue was down 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.03 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Sempra Energy will post $4.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 29th will be paid a $0.755 dividend. This represents a $3.02 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.94%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 27th. Sempra Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 79.68%.
In other Sempra Energy news, Director William P. Rutledge sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.20, for a total value of $536,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 10,838 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,161,833.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Trevor I. Mihalik sold 5,659 shares of the business’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 completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 2,615 shares in the company, valued at $279,438.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.16% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. increased its stake in Sempra Energy by 230.3% in the first quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. now owns 1,151,391 shares of the company’s stock valued at $119,802,000 after buying an additional 802,803 shares in the last quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. increased its stake in Sempra Energy by 54.7% in the second quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 93,141 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,620,000 after buying an additional 32,944 shares in the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in Sempra Energy by 9.2% in the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 47,350 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,399,000 after buying an additional 4,000 shares in the last quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its stake in Sempra Energy by 0.8% in the second quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 120,837 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,778,000 after buying an additional 911 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ngam Advisors L.P. purchased a new stake in Sempra Energy during the second quarter valued at approximately $1,297,000. 79.54% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About Sempra Energy
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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