Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Duke Energy’s second-quarter 2017 earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also declined from the year-ago figure. The downturn was mainly due to the absence of International Energy that was sold in December 2016, less favorable weather and higher income tax expense. However, revenues surpassed the consensus mark and improved year over year. In fact, we expect the company’s hefty investment plans for the next five years, to improve its business by generating cleaner energy and bolstering its renewable asset base. Moreover, Duke Energy pursues a systematic asset divestment initiative that buoys optimism. Also, it outperformed the broader industry in the last one year. Nevertheless, Duke Energy faces challenges from severe weather conditions and natural calamities like hurricanes, which may result in breakdown and damage its infrastructure.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also commented on DUK. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and set a $81.00 price objective on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a research report on Friday, April 28th. BidaskClub lowered Duke Energy Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 24th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upgraded Duke Energy Corporation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $82.00 to $85.00 in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and set a $87.00 price objective (down from $91.00) on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a research report on Monday, July 10th. Finally, 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. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. Duke Energy Corporation presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $82.71.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) traded up 0.38% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $86.88. 1,931,889 shares of the company traded hands. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $85.08 and its 200 day moving average price is $83.38. Duke Energy Corporation has a 12 month low of $72.34 and a 12 month high of $87.75. The firm has a market capitalization of $60.81 billion, a PE ratio of 25.73 and a beta of 0.24.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.01. Duke Energy Corporation had a return on equity of 7.72% and a net margin of 9.89%. The firm had revenue of $5.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.76 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.07 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Duke Energy Corporation will post $4.60 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, EVP Douglas F. Esamann sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $86.22, for a total value of $431,100.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 50,316 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,338,245.52. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director E Marie Mckee sold 1,937 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.29, for a total value of $165,206.73. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.07% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Truepoint Inc. increased its position in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 0.5% in the first quarter. Truepoint Inc. now owns 2,792 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $229,000 after buying an additional 13 shares during the last quarter. Financial Advisory Service Inc. increased its position in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 0.3% in the second quarter. Financial Advisory Service Inc. now owns 6,722 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $562,000 after buying an additional 17 shares during the last quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. increased its position in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 0.7% in the first quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. now owns 2,671 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $219,000 after buying an additional 18 shares during the last quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. increased its position in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 0.7% in the first quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. now owns 2,787 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $229,000 after buying an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hayek Kallen Investment Management increased its position in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 0.5% in the first quarter. Hayek Kallen Investment Management now owns 3,958 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $325,000 after buying an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. 55.41% of the stock is currently 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.

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