CenterPoint Energy (NYSE:CNP) 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 $31.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 13.26% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “CenterPoint Energy has been strengthening its infrastructure through regular capital investment and acquisitions, which will help it to meet the requirements of an expanding customer base. Toward this end, the company continues with its capital expenditure plan of $7 billion from 2017 through 2021. It also received an approval for its transmission cost of service (TCOS) filing, which is projected to provide a $7.8 million annual increase in revenue. The company judiciously utilizes its funds in growth projects and at the same time preserves a stable financial position. The company's shares outperformed the broader industry in the last twelve months. However, its results are subject to the impact of weather patterns, regulatory and judicial proceedings along with fluctuating commodity prices.”

Several other analysts have also recently commented on CNP. Bank of America began coverage on shares of CenterPoint Energy in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $30.00 price objective for the company. SunTrust Banks restated a “hold” rating and set a $30.00 price objective on shares of CenterPoint Energy in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Guggenheim cut shares of CenterPoint Energy from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, December 4th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $30.00 price objective on shares of CenterPoint Energy and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Citigroup lifted their price objective on shares of CenterPoint Energy from $27.00 to $30.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, November 20th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $29.33.

CenterPoint Energy (NYSE CNP) traded down $0.06 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $27.37. 3,957,800 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,804,355. The stock has a market cap of $11,760.00, a P/E ratio of 19.83, a PEG ratio of 3.29 and a beta of 0.62. CenterPoint Energy has a 12 month low of $25.25 and a 12 month high of $30.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.08, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 0.91.

CenterPoint Energy (NYSE:CNP) last released its earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.39. CenterPoint Energy had a net margin of 6.59% and a return on equity of 16.00%. The company had revenue of $2.10 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.07 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.41 EPS. CenterPoint Energy’s revenue was up 11.1% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that CenterPoint Energy will post 1.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Scott M. Prochazka sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.61, for a total value of $29,610.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 3,000 shares of company stock valued at $87,110. Company insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of CNP. Riverhead Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 134.9% in the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 25,096 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $687,000 after purchasing an additional 14,413 shares during the period. Norinchukin Bank The raised its position in CenterPoint Energy by 6.9% during the second quarter. Norinchukin Bank The now owns 29,907 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $819,000 after acquiring an additional 1,920 shares during the period. Amalgamated Bank raised its position in CenterPoint Energy by 60.4% during the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 48,573 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,330,000 after acquiring an additional 18,282 shares during the period. BT Investment Management Ltd acquired a new position in CenterPoint Energy during the second quarter worth $2,277,000. Finally, Laurion Capital Management LP acquired a new position in CenterPoint Energy during the second quarter worth $3,253,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.72% of the company’s stock.

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CenterPoint Energy Company Profile

CenterPoint Energy, Inc is a public utility holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates electric transmission and distribution facilities, and natural gas distribution facilities. The Electric Transmission & Distribution segment provides electric transmission and distribution services to retail electric providers.

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