Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) from a buy rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Potential volatility in market prices of fuel, electricity and other renewable energy commodities may create operational risks for Duke Energy.  Moreover, unfavorable supply costs for providing full energy and capacity requirement services could have an undesirable impact on the company’s earnings. Duke Energy also faces challenges from severe weather conditions and natural calamities like hurricanes, which may result in breakdown and damage its infrastructure.  Adverse outcome from pending regulatory cases may also negatively impact Duke Energy’s earnings. However, 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.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. KeyCorp reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a report on Friday, September 1st. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on Duke Energy Corporation from $89.00 to $92.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Friday, September 8th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) raised Duke Energy Corporation from a neutral rating to a buy rating and raised their target price for the stock from $82.00 to $85.00 in a report on Monday, June 26th. BidaskClub cut Duke Energy Corporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, June 24th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $87.00 target price on shares of Duke Energy Corporation in a report on Tuesday, August 29th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $83.18.

Shares of Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) opened at 84.25 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $58.97 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.96 and a beta of 0.25. Duke Energy Corporation has a 52 week low of $72.34 and a 52 week high of $88.40. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $86.74 and a 200 day moving average price of $84.41.

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

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 18th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 18th were issued a dividend of $0.89 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 16th. This is a boost from Duke Energy Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.86. This represents a $3.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.23%. Duke Energy Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 105.64%.

In other Duke Energy Corporation news, EVP Douglas F. Esamann sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $86.22, for a total transaction of $431,100.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 50,316 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,338,245.52. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.07% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Bogart Wealth LLC raised its holdings in Duke Energy Corporation by 35.9% during the second quarter. Bogart Wealth LLC now owns 22,726 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,900,000 after acquiring an additional 6,008 shares during the period. MPS Loria Financial Planners LLC bought a new stake in Duke Energy Corporation during the second quarter valued at about $257,000. Frontier Investment Mgmt Co. bought a new stake in Duke Energy Corporation during the second quarter valued at about $441,000. W. E. Donoghue & Co. LLC bought a new stake in Duke Energy Corporation during the second quarter valued at about $15,548,000. Finally, Intl Fcstone Inc. bought a new stake in Duke Energy Corporation during the second quarter valued at about $1,097,000. 56.22% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

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