BidaskClub upgraded shares of Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE:XEL) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning.

XEL has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut Xcel Energy from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, June 15th. Argus boosted their price target on Xcel Energy from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on Xcel Energy from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on Xcel Energy from $45.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a hold rating and set a $48.00 price target on shares of Xcel Energy in a report on Friday, June 9th. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Xcel Energy has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $46.67.

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) opened at 49.37 on Wednesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $47.62 and its 200 day moving average is $45.69. Xcel Energy has a one year low of $38.00 and a one year high of $49.60. The firm has a market cap of $25.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.80 and a beta of 0.19.

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The utilities provider reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by $0.02. Xcel Energy had a return on equity of 10.42% and a net margin of 10.08%. The company had revenue of $2.64 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.63 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.39 EPS. Xcel Energy’s revenue was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Xcel Energy will post $2.20 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a $0.36 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.92%. Xcel Energy’s payout ratio is presently 63.44%.

In other Xcel Energy news, EVP Kent T. Larson sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.25, for a total value of $472,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 80,221 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,790,442.25. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.22% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of XEL. Parallel Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Xcel Energy by 1.6% in the second quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 2,227 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 36 shares during the last quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. boosted its position in shares of Xcel Energy by 14.5% in the second quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 2,365 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Sandy Spring Bank boosted its position in shares of Xcel Energy by 24.8% in the second quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 2,401 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 477 shares during the last quarter. Founders Capital Management purchased a new position in shares of Xcel Energy during the first quarter worth about $124,000. Finally, Sharkey Howes & Javer boosted its position in shares of Xcel Energy by 0.5% in the first quarter. Sharkey Howes & Javer now owns 2,994 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $133,000 after buying an additional 16 shares during the last quarter. 72.60% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL)

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