Duke Energy (DUK) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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

According to Zacks, “Duke Energy boasts a robust five-year capital plan and currently plans to invest about $37 billion in growth projects over the 2017-2021 time frame. Going forward, the company’s five-year plan also includes investment of $3.3 billion in highly-efficient natural gas-fired combined-cycle plants. The company's loss was narrower than the broader industry's loss in the last 12 months. Potential volatility in market prices of fuel, electricity and other renewable energy commodities could create operational risks for the company. Duke Energy also faces challenges from severe weather conditions and natural calamities like hurricanes, which may result in breakdown and damage its infrastructure. This may interrupt the operations of the company and affect its performance.”

DUK has been the subject of a number of other reports. SunTrust Banks set a $82.00 price target on Duke Energy and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Bank of America reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $92.00 price target on shares of Duke Energy in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on Duke Energy from $90.00 to $85.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday. Wolfe Research raised Duke Energy from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Duke Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $87.18.

Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) traded up $0.27 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $77.08. The company had a trading volume of 3,810,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,200,000. Duke Energy has a 52 week low of $72.93 and a 52 week high of $91.80. The company has a market capitalization of $53,950.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.23, a PEG ratio of 3.94 and a beta of 0.12. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17, a quick ratio of 0.41 and a current ratio of 0.71.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Duke Energy by 3.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 50,043,241 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,183,115,000 after buying an additional 1,572,216 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Duke Energy by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 45,499,220 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,826,940,000 after buying an additional 424,604 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in shares of Duke Energy by 0.9% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 9,063,623 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $757,629,000 after buying an additional 84,730 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Duke Energy by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 7,495,715 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $629,156,000 after buying an additional 165,972 shares during the period. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc raised its holdings in shares of Duke Energy by 3.4% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 5,039,085 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $422,872,000 after buying an additional 164,381 shares during the period. 57.13% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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