Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research
Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE:XEL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Thursday.
According to Zacks, “Xcel Energy’s long-term investment plans will strengthen its operations and help it to serve its expanding customer base in a more reliable and efficient manner. The company is also benefiting from improving economic conditions in its service territories. The company is focused on expanding its renewable generation assets and lowering its carbon footprint. Xcel Energy's operation is subject to stringent environmental legislations which call for additional expenditures and can adversely impact the company's profits. Rising debt levels of Xcel Energy is a concern, with its debt/capital ratio presently higher than the industry average. Despite safety measures, nuclear units run the possibility of accidents and forced shutdown, and Xcel Energy’s nuclear generation assets are not immune to such risks.”
A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $48.00 price target on shares of Xcel Energy in a report on Monday, September 26th. SunTrust Banks Inc. lifted their price objective on shares of Xcel Energy from $41.00 to $42.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, September 26th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $49.00 price objective on shares of Xcel Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 8th. Finally, Jefferies Group lifted their price objective on shares of Xcel Energy from $42.00 to $45.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. Xcel Energy currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of C$44.00.
Shares of Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) traded up 0.35% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $39.65. The stock had a trading volume of 1,529,119 shares. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $41.72 and its 200-day moving average price is $41.98. The firm has a market capitalization of $20.14 billion, a PE ratio of 18.80 and a beta of 0.13. Xcel Energy has a 1-year low of $34.33 and a 1-year high of $45.42.
Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.39 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40 by $0.01. The company earned $2.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.52 billion. Xcel Energy had a return on equity of 10.10% and a net margin of 9.92%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.39 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Xcel Energy will post $2.20 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 20th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.34 per share. This represents a $1.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.44%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. Xcel Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 64.46%.
In other Xcel Energy news, EVP Marvin E. Jr. Mcdaniel sold 11,900 shares of Xcel Energy stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of C$41.66, for a total value of C$495,754.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 79,404 shares of the company’s stock, valued at C$3,307,970.64. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Shell Asset Management Co. raised its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 10.7% in the second quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 288,068 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,900,000 after buying an additional 27,811 shares in the last quarter. Barclays PLC raised its stake in Xcel Energy by 18.9% in the first quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 823,394 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,758,000 after buying an additional 130,633 shares during the period. Retirement Systems of Alabama raised its stake in Xcel Energy by 0.8% in the second quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 258,960 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,596,000 after buying an additional 2,001 shares during the period. Meeder Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Xcel Energy by 1,002.3% in the second quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 16,755 shares of the company’s stock valued at $750,000 after buying an additional 15,235 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp raised its stake in Xcel Energy by 7.4% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 25,730,566 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,076,045,000 after buying an additional 1,768,675 shares during the period. 70.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy Inc is a public utility holding company. The Company’s operations include activity of four utility subsidiaries that serve electric and natural gas customers. Its segments are regulated electric utility, regulated natural gas utility and all other. The regulated electric utility segment generates, transmits and distributes electricity in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico.
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