Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Entergy Corp. (NYSE:ETR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Friday morning. The firm currently has $84.00 price objective on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Entergy is gradually shifting from being a hybrid to a pure-play utility. It is looking for opportunities in its core utility business, which operates in parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy expects earnings from its utility, parent and other segment to rise roughly 5% to 7% a year through 2020. Its disciplined investments in its generation and distribution businesses as well as sturdy expansion of transmission lines are expected to boost its financials, while strengthening reliability services for its customers. Further, to diminish the risk and volatility in the EWC business, the company is gradually reducing its EWC footprint; which may become less than 5% in 2018. However, dependence on regulatory authorities for rate relief and price fluctuations in wholesale power markets could be a growth deterrent. Any adverse decision in pending regulatory cases can also materially impact Entergy's earnings.”
A number of other brokerages also recently commented on ETR. Citigroup Inc. raised their price objective on shares of Entergy Corp. from $72.00 to $83.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 20th. Deutsche Bank AG reduced their price objective on shares of Entergy Corp. from $83.00 to $82.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Finally, Guggenheim upgraded shares of Entergy Corp. from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $86.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, August 22nd. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Entergy Corp. currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $81.78.
Shares of Entergy Corp. (NYSE:ETR) opened at 74.93 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.41 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 77.41 and a beta of 0.38. Entergy Corp. has a 52-week low of $64.11 and a 52-week high of $82.09. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $77.29 and a 200-day moving average price of $77.80.
Entergy Corp. (NYSE:ETR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $3.11 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $2.06. Entergy Corp. had a net margin of 1.78% and a return on equity of 15.34%. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.83 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that Entergy Corp. will post $6.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In related news, insider Charles L. Rice, Jr. sold 760 shares of Entergy Corp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.36, for a total transaction of $60,313.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Haley Fisackerly sold 1,250 shares of Entergy Corp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.60, for a total transaction of $97,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.22% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Legal & General Group Plc raised its position in Entergy Corp. by 0.4% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 985,723 shares of the company’s stock valued at $78,146,000 after buying an additional 4,034 shares during the last quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. raised its position in Entergy Corp. by 19.9% in the second quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 838,922 shares of the company’s stock valued at $68,245,000 after buying an additional 139,514 shares during the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada raised its position in Entergy Corp. by 4.4% in the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 609,348 shares of the company’s stock valued at $48,310,000 after buying an additional 25,558 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc raised its position in Entergy Corp. by 3.7% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 19,403 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,578,000 after buying an additional 691 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Panagora Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Entergy Corp. by 5.2% in the first quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 575,911 shares of the company’s stock valued at $45,658,000 after buying an additional 28,400 shares during the last quarter. 85.21% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About Entergy Corp.
Entergy Corporation is a holding company. The Company is an integrated energy company engaged in electric power production and retail electric distribution operations. It operates through two business segments: Utility and Entergy Wholesale Commodities. The Utility segment includes the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electric power to retail and wholesale customers in areas of Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana, including the City of New Orleans and operates a natural gas distribution business.
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