Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Xcel Energy have gained more than the industry in the last one year.  Xcel Energy is poised to gain from its long-term investment plans, focus on renewable generation and improving economic conditions in its service territories. The constructive regulatory orders will also help the company.  The recently announced Colorado Energy Plan is part of company’s long-term objective to cut down emission.  However, Xcel Energy’s rising debt level is a concern, in an interest hike environment, with its debt/capital ratio presently higher than the industry average. Lower-than-expected performance of its subsidiaries and cost of adhering stringent environmental regulation could hurt its profitability.”

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on XEL. Mizuho reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $46.00 target price on shares of Xcel Energy in a report on Friday, September 29th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 target price on shares of Xcel Energy in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. ValuEngine raised shares of Xcel Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Bank of America assumed coverage on shares of Xcel Energy in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a “buy” rating and a $53.00 target price for the company. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price target on shares of Xcel Energy in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.09.

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) traded down $0.37 during trading on Monday, hitting $45.15. Xcel Energy has a fifty-two week low of $40.43 and a fifty-two week high of $52.22. The stock has a market capitalization of $22,930.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.38 and a beta of 0.21. The company has a quick ratio of 0.68, a current ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.27.

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.05. Xcel Energy had a net margin of 10.40% and a return on equity of 10.63%. The business had revenue of $3.02 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.27 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.90 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Xcel Energy will post 2.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Xcel Energy news, EVP Marvin E. Jr. Mcdaniel sold 5,176 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.07, for a total value of $264,338.32. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 81,371 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,155,616.97. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Timothy V. Wolf sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.48, for a total transaction of $148,440.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,700 shares in the company, valued at approximately $183,076. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 28,363 shares of company stock worth $1,415,265. Corporate insiders own 0.22% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp lifted its position in Xcel Energy by 2.7% in the third quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 304,812 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $14,424,000 after buying an additional 8,000 shares during the last quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. lifted its position in Xcel Energy by 8.1% in the third quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 57,293 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,711,000 after buying an additional 4,315 shares during the last quarter. Norinchukin Bank The lifted its position in Xcel Energy by 7.3% in the third quarter. Norinchukin Bank The now owns 37,794 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,788,000 after buying an additional 2,557 shares during the last quarter. Nicolet Bankshares Inc. lifted its position in Xcel Energy by 37.6% in the third quarter. Nicolet Bankshares Inc. now owns 9,478 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $448,000 after buying an additional 2,588 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Gyroscope Capital Management Group LLC acquired a new position in Xcel Energy in the second quarter valued at about $381,000. 73.32% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Xcel Energy Company Profile

Xcel Energy Inc is a public utility holding company. The Company’s operations include the activity of four utility subsidiaries that serve electric and natural gas customers in eight states. The Company’s segments include regulated electric utility, regulated natural gas utility and all other. The Company’s utility subsidiaries include NSP-Minnesota, NSP-Wisconsin, Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo) and Southwestern Public Service Co (SPS), which serve customers in portions of Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

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