Duke Energy (DUK) Upgraded to Buy at Bank of America

Bank of America upgraded shares of Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning, Marketbeat.com reports. The brokerage currently has $81.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock.

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on DUK. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on Duke Energy from $77.00 to $78.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a report on Tuesday, April 10th. SunTrust Banks restated a hold rating and issued a $82.00 price target on shares of Duke Energy in a report on Monday, April 23rd. Goldman Sachs Group downgraded Duke Energy from a neutral rating to a sell rating and increased their price target for the stock from $76.90 to $78.00 in a report on Wednesday, March 28th. Deutsche Bank upgraded Duke Energy from a hold rating to a buy rating and increased their price target for the stock from $77.22 to $86.00 in a report on Monday, February 26th. Finally, Guggenheim restated a buy rating and issued a $82.00 price target on shares of Duke Energy in a report on Friday, February 23rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $82.57.

Shares of Duke Energy opened at $76.19 on Wednesday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Duke Energy has a 1 year low of $71.96 and a 1 year high of $91.80. The stock has a market capitalization of $53.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.67, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.45 and a beta of 0.12. The company has a quick ratio of 0.39, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 10th. The utilities provider reported $1.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.14. Duke Energy had a return on equity of 8.10% and a net margin of 12.33%. The company had revenue of $5.32 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.76 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.04 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that Duke Energy will post 4.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 18th. Investors of record on Friday, May 18th were issued a dividend of $0.89 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 17th. This represents a $3.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.67%. Duke Energy’s payout ratio is presently 77.90%.

In related news, Director E Marie Mckee sold 2,006 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.49, for a total transaction of $155,444.94. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, COO Dhiaa M. Jamil sold 3,800 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.98, for a total value of $292,524.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.07% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Duke Energy by 0.7% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 45,802,921 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,548,350,000 after purchasing an additional 303,701 shares during the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its position in Duke Energy by 23.7% during the first quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 19,423,147 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,504,711,000 after purchasing an additional 3,718,916 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its position in Duke Energy by 38.9% during the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 14,032,561 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,087,086,000 after purchasing an additional 3,933,094 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Duke Energy by 2.3% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 7,495,715 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $629,156,000 after purchasing an additional 165,972 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Zimmer Partners LP boosted its position in Duke Energy by 939.3% during the first quarter. Zimmer Partners LP now owns 7,110,600 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $550,858,000 after purchasing an additional 6,426,400 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 59.04% of the company’s stock.

About Duke Energy

Duke Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company in the United States. It operates through three segments: Electric Utilities and Infrastructure, Gas Utilities and Infrastructure, and Commercial Renewables. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure segment generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electricity in the Carolinas, Florida, and the Midwest; uses coal, hydroelectric, natural gas, oil, renewable sources, and nuclear fuel to generate electricity; and engages in the wholesale of electricity to municipalities, electric cooperative utilities, and other load-serving entities.

Analyst Recommendations for Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK)

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