Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE:XEL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $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 several other research reports. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price target (up previously from $46.00) on shares of Xcel Energy in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $49.00 price target on shares of Xcel Energy and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 8th. Jefferies Group raised their price target on shares of Xcel Energy from $42.00 to $45.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, SunTrust Banks Inc. raised their price target on shares of Xcel Energy from $41.00 to $42.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, September 26th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. Xcel Energy presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of C$43.25.
Shares of Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) opened at 40.34 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $20.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.13 and a beta of 0.13. Xcel Energy has a 52-week low of $34.33 and a 52-week high of $45.42. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $41.26 and its 200 day moving average price is $41.91.
Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) last released its earnings results 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 business had revenue of $2.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.52 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.39 earnings per share. Xcel Energy’s revenue for the quarter was down .6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Xcel Energy will post $2.20 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 20th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a dividend of $0.34 per share. This represents a $1.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.37%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 13th. Xcel Energy’s payout ratio is 64.46%.
In other news, EVP Marvin E. Jr. Mcdaniel sold 11,900 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 26th. The shares were 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 owns 79,404 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately C$3,307,970.64. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 3.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 32,793,704 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,468,502,000 after buying an additional 1,162,685 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 11.0% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 29,652,226 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,327,827,000 after buying an additional 2,933,264 shares during the last quarter. 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 worth $1,076,045,000 after buying an additional 1,768,675 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 9.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 16,121,533 shares of the company’s stock worth $721,922,000 after buying an additional 1,367,234 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 7.0% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 13,528,693 shares of the company’s stock worth $605,815,000 after buying an additional 879,462 shares during 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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