NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $178.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 11.77% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of NextEra Energy have outperformed the industry’s rally in the last 12 months.  Investment made by the company to strengthen its infrastructure helped it overcome the difficult situation and quickly restore normalcy of operations in difficult weather conditions.  The company is consistently registering an increase in consumer count. The company’s focus on clean energy has lowered emission levels and saved on energy bills for its customers. The natural gas pipelines, which came online in first half, are expected to boost its performance. On the flip side, the company’s nature of business is subject to complex and comprehensive federal, state and other regulations. Unpredictable impact of natural disaster and delay in completion of ongoing projects could also impact profitability.”

NEE has been the subject of several other research reports. KeyCorp reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $155.00 price objective on shares of NextEra Energy in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Bank of America began coverage on NextEra Energy in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a “buy” rating and a $166.00 price objective for the company. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on NextEra Energy in a report on Thursday, December 7th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $173.00 price objective for the company. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $169.00 price objective on NextEra Energy and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $156.00 price objective on shares of NextEra Energy in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $158.60.

NextEra Energy (NEE) traded up $0.22 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $159.25. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,608,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,681,721. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a current ratio of 0.61. The stock has a market capitalization of $74,807.33, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.84, a P/E/G ratio of 3.17 and a beta of 0.31. NextEra Energy has a one year low of $114.85 and a one year high of $159.35.

NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The utilities provider reported $1.85 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.77 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $4.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.89 billion. NextEra Energy had a return on equity of 11.86% and a net margin of 24.81%. NextEra Energy’s revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.74 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that NextEra Energy will post 6.73 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO Armando Pimentel, Jr. sold 42,372 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $157.45, for a total value of $6,671,471.40. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 121,958 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $19,202,287.10. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Charles E. Sieving sold 30,485 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $146.56, for a total value of $4,467,881.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 78,167 shares in the company, valued at $11,456,155.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 107,757 shares of company stock worth $16,419,953. 0.53% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Hanson McClain Inc. grew its position in NextEra Energy by 6.0% during the 2nd quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 763 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $107,000 after purchasing an additional 43 shares during the period. Nelson Van Denburg & Campbell Wealth Management Group LLC grew its position in NextEra Energy by 8.9% during the 1st quarter. Nelson Van Denburg & Campbell Wealth Management Group LLC now owns 871 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $112,000 after purchasing an additional 71 shares during the period. Risk Paradigm Group LLC grew its position in NextEra Energy by 108.1% during the 3rd quarter. Risk Paradigm Group LLC now owns 851 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $125,000 after purchasing an additional 442 shares during the period. Archford Capital Strategies LLC grew its position in NextEra Energy by 76.9% during the 2nd quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 10,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $128,000 after purchasing an additional 4,347 shares during the period. Finally, Highstreet Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in NextEra Energy during the 2nd quarter worth about $134,000. 75.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About NextEra Energy

NextEra Energy, Inc (NEE) is a holding company. The Company is an electric power companies in North America and, through its subsidiary NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (NEER) and its affiliated entities, is the generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. NEE also owns and/or operates generation, transmission and distribution facilities to support its services to retail and wholesale customers, and has investments in gas infrastructure assets.

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Analyst Recommendations for NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE)

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