NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NRG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $18.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 11.66% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “NRG Energy is gaining from its asset drop-down program that is in sync with its long- term growth strategy. Its cost saving measures, providing power to a wide variety of customers, debt reduction plans and expansion of renewable operations should further drive growth. Since the company does not depend on a single customer to generate revenues, migration of customers to other operators does nothave anysignificant impact on the company’s earnings. Shares of NRG Energy have returned more than the broader industry in the last six months. However, stringent environmental regulations, restructuring of GenOn, fluctuating weather conditions and intense competition in the wholesale power markets are headwinds.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on NRG. ValuEngine upgraded NRG Energy from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. BidaskClub upgraded NRG Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Barclays PLC reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $20.00 price objective (up previously from $19.00) on shares of NRG Energy in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. Williams Capital began coverage on NRG Energy in a research note on Thursday, June 1st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $20.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upgraded NRG Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $13.00 to $26.00 in a research note on Wednesday, March 29th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $20.29.

NRG Energy (NYSE NRG) traded up 1.210% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $16.315. 6,124,843 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. NRG Energy has a one year low of $9.84 and a one year high of $19.07. The stock’s market cap is $5.16 billion. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $16.42 and its 200-day moving average price is $16.24. NRG Energy also was the target of some unusual options trading on Monday. Investors purchased 15,656 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 834% compared to the typical volume of 1,677 call options.

NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported ($0.52) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.41) by $0.11. The company had revenue of $2.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.29 billion. NRG Energy had a negative net margin of 7.81% and a positive return on equity of 7.01%. On average, analysts forecast that NRG Energy will post $0.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of NRG. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its stake in NRG Energy by 431.7% in the third quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 9,204 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 7,473 shares during the last quarter. Nine Chapters Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in NRG Energy during the third quarter valued at $114,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund acquired a new stake in NRG Energy during the fourth quarter valued at $125,000. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans boosted its stake in NRG Energy by 6.6% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 10,920 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $134,000 after buying an additional 680 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cigna Investments Inc. New acquired a new stake in NRG Energy during the fourth quarter valued at $135,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.47% of the company’s stock.

About NRG Energy

NRG Energy, Inc (NRG) is an integrated power company. The Company is engaged in producing, selling and delivering electricity and related products and services in various markets in the United States. The Company’s segments include Generation, Retail, Renewables, NRG Yield, Inc (NRG Yield) and Corporate activities.

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