Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE:XEL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors 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 brokerages have also commented on XEL. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $49.00 target price on Xcel Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 8th. Jefferies Group upped their target price on Xcel Energy from $42.00 to $45.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. SunTrust Banks Inc. upped their target price on Xcel Energy from $41.00 to $42.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, September 26th. Finally, Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $48.00 target price (up previously from $46.00) on shares of Xcel Energy in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Xcel Energy currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of C$44.00.
Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) traded up 0.35% during trading on Thursday, reaching $39.65. 1,529,119 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company has a market cap of $20.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.80 and a beta of 0.13. Xcel Energy has a 12-month low of $34.33 and a 12-month high of $45.42. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $41.72 and its 200-day moving average is $41.98.
Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.01. Xcel Energy had a net margin of 9.92% and a return on equity of 10.10%. The company had revenue of $2.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.52 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.39 EPS. The business’s revenue was down .6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Xcel Energy will post $2.20 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 20th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 15th will be paid a $0.34 dividend. 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 is currently 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 value of C$495,754.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 79,404 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately C$3,307,970.64. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Shell Asset Management Co. increased its position in 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 position 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 in the last quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its position 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 in the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. increased its position 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 in the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp increased its position 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 in the last quarter. 70.91% 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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