Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Duke Energy’s hefty investment plans for the next five years is expected to improve its business by generating cleaner energy and bolstering its renewable asset base, buoys optimism. Moreover, over the next 10 years, Duke Energy plans to strengthen its energy delivery system by investing $25 billion to create a more modern, smarter energy grid. The company has also been pursuing additional generation projects, such as dual-fuel capabilities, and combined heat and power facilities to increase the flexibility of its system. Duke Energy also pursues a systematic asset divestment initiative. Moreover, it outperformed the broader industry in the last year. Yet, potential volatility in market prices of fuel, electricity and other renewable energy commodities could create operational risks for the company. In addition, adverse outcome from pending regulatory cases may negatively impact Duke Energy’s earnings.”

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on DUK. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Duke Energy Corporation from $87.00 to $89.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 10th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and issued a $87.00 price target (up from $85.00) on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a research note on Friday, August 4th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating and issued a $84.00 price target (up from $83.00) on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Duke Energy Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating and issued a $87.00 price target on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a research note on Tuesday, August 29th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $83.11.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE DUK) opened at 86.77 on Tuesday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $86.45 and its 200 day moving average is $84.25. The company has a market capitalization of $60.73 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.70 and a beta of 0.25. Duke Energy Corporation has a one year low of $72.34 and a one year high of $88.40.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.01. Duke Energy Corporation had a net margin of 9.89% and a return on equity of 7.72%. The business had revenue of $5.56 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.76 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.07 earnings per share. Duke Energy Corporation’s revenue was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Duke Energy Corporation will post $4.60 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, EVP Douglas F. Esamann sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $86.22, for a total value of $431,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 50,316 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,338,245.52. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.07% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Winfield Associates Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 14.3% in the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 1,322 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $111,000 after acquiring an additional 165 shares during the last quarter. Jolley Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 26.4% in the second quarter. Jolley Asset Management LLC now owns 1,499 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $125,000 after acquiring an additional 313 shares during the last quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Duke Energy Corporation in the second quarter worth about $130,000. North Star Investment Management Corp. lifted its holdings in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 26.2% in the first quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. now owns 1,552 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $127,000 after acquiring an additional 322 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Advantage Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Duke Energy Corporation by 37.4% in the first quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC now owns 1,697 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $139,000 after acquiring an additional 462 shares during the last quarter. 56.22% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Duke Energy Corporation Company Profile

Duke Energy Corporation (Duke Energy) is an energy company. The Company operates through three segments: Electric Utilities and Infrastructure; Gas Utilities and Infrastructure, and Commercial Renewables. The Company operates in the United States through its direct and indirect subsidiaries. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure segment provides retail electric service through the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 7.5 million customers within the Southeast and Midwest regions of the United States.

Analyst Recommendations for Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK)

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