Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE:XEL) Sets New 1-Year High After Analyst Upgrade

Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE:XEL)’s share price reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday after Morgan Stanley raised their price target on the stock from $45.00 to $46.00. Morgan Stanley currently has an equal weight rating on the stock. Xcel Energy traded as high as $48.62 and last traded at $48.64, with a volume of 1,898,789 shares. The stock had previously closed at $48.27.

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Xcel Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 target price on shares of Xcel Energy in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Deutsche Bank AG increased their target price on Xcel Energy from $45.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, April 28th. BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on Xcel Energy from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Xcel Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.67.

In other Xcel Energy news, EVP Kent T. Larson sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.25, for a total transaction of $472,500.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 80,221 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,790,442.25. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.22% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in XEL. Retirement Systems of Alabama raised its position in shares of Xcel Energy by 1.8% in the first quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 245,184 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $10,898,000 after buying an additional 4,426 shares during the period. Hexavest Inc. raised its position in shares of Xcel Energy by 3.2% in the first quarter. Hexavest Inc. now owns 808,231 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $35,926,000 after buying an additional 25,353 shares during the period. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its position in shares of Xcel Energy by 38.0% in the first quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 105,738 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,699,000 after buying an additional 29,135 shares during the period. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Xcel Energy by 7.0% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 97,040 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,313,000 after buying an additional 6,350 shares during the period. Finally, DnB Asset Management AS raised its position in shares of Xcel Energy by 2.0% in the first quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 31,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,378,000 after buying an additional 600 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.03% of the company’s stock.

The stock’s 50-day moving average is $46.82 and its 200 day moving average is $45.04. The firm has a market capitalization of $24.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.47 and a beta of 0.19.

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The utilities provider reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $2.64 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.63 billion. Xcel Energy had a net margin of 10.08% and a return on equity of 10.42%. The business’s revenue was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.39 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Xcel Energy Inc. will post $2.20 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, July 20th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 15th were issued a dividend of $0.36 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, June 13th. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.96%. Xcel Energy’s dividend payout ratio is currently 63.44%.

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Xcel Energy Company Profile

Xcel Energy Inc is a public utility holding company. The Company’s operations include the activity of four utility subsidiaries that serve electric and natural gas customers in eight states. The Company’s segments include regulated electric utility, regulated natural gas utility and all other. The Company’s utility subsidiaries include NSP-Minnesota, NSP-Wisconsin, Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo) and Southwestern Public Service Co (SPS), which serve customers in portions of Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

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