Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Sempra Energy’s future cash inflow will likely get tailwinds from LNG development prospects and renewable expansion. Steady focus on the expansion of its renewable capacity will enable the company to provide emission-free power to its customers. It is also confident of attaining 12% earnings CAGR through 2020 backed by these factors. However, the company also faces headwinds in the form of stringent government regulations and operational risks. It is further exposed to foreign currency risks because of its international presence and has to invest substantially to expand its operations.”

Separately, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lowered shares of Sempra Energy from a conviction-buy rating to a neutral rating and cut their target price for the stock from $110.00 to $108.00 in a research note on Monday, June 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call.

Shares of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) opened at 107.94 on Wednesday. Sempra Energy has a one year low of $86.72 and a one year high of $114.66. The company’s 50 day moving average is $106.41 and its 200 day moving average is $106.42. The company has a market cap of $27.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.50 and a beta of 0.47.

Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by $0.18. The company had revenue of $2.16 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.62 billion. Sempra Energy had a return on equity of 9.49% and a net margin of 9.56%. The firm’s revenue was down 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.03 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Sempra Energy will post $4.79 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, September 29th will be issued a $0.755 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 27th. This represents a $3.02 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.80%. Sempra Energy’s dividend payout ratio is currently 79.68%.

In related news, Director William P. Rutledge sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.20, for a total transaction of $536,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 10,838 shares in the company, valued at $1,161,833.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP Trevor I. Mihalik sold 5,659 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.86, for a total transaction of $604,720.74. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 2,615 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $279,438.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.16% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of SRE. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. increased its stake in Sempra Energy by 230.3% in the first quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. now owns 1,151,391 shares of the company’s stock worth $119,802,000 after buying an additional 802,803 shares during the period. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in Sempra Energy by 9.2% in the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 47,350 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,399,000 after buying an additional 4,000 shares during the period. Shell Asset Management Co. increased its stake in Sempra Energy by 54.7% in the second quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 93,141 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,620,000 after buying an additional 32,944 shares during the period. Ngam Advisors L.P. bought a new stake in Sempra Energy during the second quarter worth about $1,297,000. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in Sempra Energy by 84.1% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 7,275,776 shares of the company’s stock worth $829,585,000 after buying an additional 3,324,658 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.55% of the company’s stock.

About Sempra Energy

Sempra Energy is a holding company. The Company’s principal operating units are San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas); Sempra International, which includes Sempra South American Utilities and Sempra Mexico segments, and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, which includes Sempra Renewables and Sempra Natural Gas segments.

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