Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Duke Energy’s hefty investment plans for the next five years is expected to improve its business by generating cleaner energy and bolstering its renewable asset base. Moreover, its ocus on core domestic regulated and highly-contracted renewable business, its stable financial position and streamlining of its portfolio will bode well, going forward. On the flip side, potential volatility in market prices of fuel, electricity and other renewable energy commodities could create operational risks. Unfavorable supply costs for providing full energy and capacity requirement services might have an undesirable impact on the company’s earnings as well. Additionally, Duke Energy faces challenges from severe weather conditions and natural calamities like hurricanes, which may result in breakdown and damage its infrastructure.”

DUK has been the subject of several other reports. Bank of America reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $92.00 target price on shares of Duke Energy in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $88.00 price target on shares of Duke Energy in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Duke Energy from $89.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, September 8th. Wolfe Research raised Duke Energy from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $87.00 price target on shares of Duke Energy in a report on Tuesday, August 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $86.90.

Duke Energy (NYSE DUK) traded down $0.78 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $87.59. 900,169 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,590,011. Duke Energy has a twelve month low of $74.95 and a twelve month high of $91.80. The company has a quick ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 0.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17. The company has a market capitalization of $61,632.85, a PE ratio of 19.79, a PEG ratio of 4.82 and a beta of 0.26.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) last released its earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.59 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.56 by $0.03. Duke Energy had a net margin of 9.09% and a return on equity of 7.54%. The business had revenue of $6.48 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.43 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.68 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Duke Energy will post 4.56 EPS for the current year.

In other news, EVP Lloyd M. Yates sold 5,000 shares of Duke Energy stock in a transaction on Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.95, for a total transaction of $449,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 0.07% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Duke Energy by 2,866.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 42,708,918 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,502,557,000 after purchasing an additional 41,268,968 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its position in shares of Duke Energy by 33.1% in the first quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 9,422,063 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $772,704,000 after purchasing an additional 2,345,114 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Duke Energy by 4.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 48,471,025 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,975,109,000 after purchasing an additional 1,918,598 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley increased its position in shares of Duke Energy by 25.1% in the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 4,909,214 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $402,605,000 after purchasing an additional 986,456 shares during the period. Finally, Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC increased its position in shares of Duke Energy by 575.7% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC now owns 955,632 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $81,984,000 after purchasing an additional 814,210 shares during the period. 57.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Duke Energy

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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