Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE:XEL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Wednesday. They currently have $44.00 price target on the stock.
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.”
XEL has been the subject of a number of other reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $49.00 price objective on Xcel Energy and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, September 8th. Jefferies Group increased their price objective on Xcel Energy from $42.00 to $45.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, August 4th. SunTrust Banks Inc. increased their price objective on Xcel Energy from $41.00 to $42.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Monday, September 26th. Finally, Argus reissued a buy rating and issued a $48.00 price objective (up from $46.00) on shares of Xcel Energy in a report on Wednesday, June 15th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. Xcel Energy has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of C$43.25.
Shares of Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) opened at 40.34 on Wednesday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $41.17 and a 200 day moving average of $41.90. Xcel Energy has a one year low of $34.33 and a one year high of $45.42. The stock has a market cap of $20.49 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.13 and a beta of 0.13.
Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.01. The business earned $2.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.52 billion. Xcel Energy had a net margin of 9.92% and a return on equity of 10.10%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.39 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Xcel Energy will post $2.20 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business 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 dividend yield of 3.37%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. Xcel Energy’s dividend payout ratio is presently 64.46%.
In related news, EVP Marvin E. Jr. Mcdaniel sold 11,900 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of C$41.66, for a total transaction of C$495,754.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 79,404 shares of the company’s stock, valued at C$3,307,970.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Shell Asset Management Co. increased 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 increased its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. 70.93% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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