NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $169.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 12.43% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of NextEra Energy have outperformed the industry’s rally in the last 12 months.  Investments made by the company to strengthen its infrastructure and ongoing capital projects, when completed, will help it serve its expanding customer base more efficiently. The company’s focus on clean energy has helped it lower emission levels, and use of new technology has saved on energy bills for its customers. The natural gas pipelines, which came online in first half of 2017, 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 could derail normal operation and impact profitability.”

NEE has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Bank of America started coverage on shares of NextEra Energy in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a “buy” rating and a $166.00 price objective on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $156.00 price objective on shares of NextEra Energy in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. Credit Suisse Group started coverage on shares of NextEra Energy in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $173.00 price objective on the stock. KeyCorp reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $155.00 price objective on shares of NextEra Energy in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Guggenheim reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $177.00 price objective on shares of NextEra Energy in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $159.56.

NextEra Energy (NEE) traded down $0.18 on Friday, hitting $150.32. 1,596,577 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,900,000. The stock has a market capitalization of $70,710.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.89, a P/E/G ratio of 2.80 and a beta of 0.31. NextEra Energy has a 12 month low of $117.88 and a 12 month high of $159.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11, a current ratio of 0.61 and a quick ratio of 0.49.

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

In other news, CEO Armando Pimentel, Jr. sold 42,372 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.45, for a total transaction of $6,671,471.40. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 121,958 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $19,202,287.10. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director James L. Robo sold 30,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.52, for a total transaction of $4,545,600.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.53% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its holdings in NextEra Energy by 2,832.8% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,800,376 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $252,287,000 after purchasing an additional 1,738,989 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in NextEra Energy by 4.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 34,147,719 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,785,120,000 after purchasing an additional 1,503,907 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in NextEra Energy by 122.5% in the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,479,209 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $207,281,000 after purchasing an additional 814,478 shares during the period. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec boosted its holdings in NextEra Energy by 26.4% in the third quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 3,724,367 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $548,102,000 after purchasing an additional 777,351 shares during the period. Finally, BT Investment Management Ltd acquired a new position in NextEra Energy in the second quarter worth $96,214,000. 75.39% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION NOTICE: This piece was reported by American Banking News and is the property of of American Banking News. If you are accessing this piece on another site, it was illegally stolen and reposted in violation of U.S. and international copyright law. The legal version of this piece can be read at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2018/01/12/zacks-investment-research-upgrades-nextera-energy-nee-to-buy.html.

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.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on NextEra Energy (NEE)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE)

Receive News & Ratings for NextEra Energy Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for NextEra Energy and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.