Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Exelon (NYSE:EXC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $52.00 target price on the energy giant’s stock.

According to Zacks, “In the past 12 months, shares of Exelon Corporation have gained against a decline of the industry it belongs to. Exelon is going to benefit from its $21 billion planned capital investment, focus on zero emission electricity generation and cost savings. The company continues with its hedging program to manage market risks and protect the value of its generation. Strong cash flow generation capacity will help it lower debt levels and increase value of its shareholders. However, Exelon is subject to the impact of commodity price volatility and price fluctuation in the wholesale markets. Stringent government regulation is also a cause of concern.”

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on EXC. Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on shares of Exelon from $48.00 to $47.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, September 26th. SunTrust Banks cut shares of Exelon from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $33.00 target price for the company. in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Barclays raised their target price on shares of Exelon from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Monday. Guggenheim reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $51.00 price objective on shares of Exelon in a report on Monday, July 23rd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $46.00 price objective on shares of Exelon in a report on Wednesday, November 7th. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $46.22.

Shares of Exelon stock opened at $45.44 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.16. Exelon has a 1 year low of $35.57 and a 1 year high of $46.32. The firm has a market cap of $44.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.48, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.23 and a beta of 0.26.

Exelon (NYSE:EXC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The energy giant reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.88. Exelon had a net margin of 10.67% and a return on equity of 9.35%. The firm had revenue of $8.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.74 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.85 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Exelon will post 3.12 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 10th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 15th will be given a $0.345 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.38 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.04%. Exelon’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 53.08%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in EXC. Man Group plc grew its position in shares of Exelon by 242.7% in the third quarter. Man Group plc now owns 6,102,652 shares of the energy giant’s stock valued at $266,442,000 after purchasing an additional 4,322,046 shares during the period. Capital International Investors grew its position in shares of Exelon by 29.8% in the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 11,113,684 shares of the energy giant’s stock valued at $485,223,000 after purchasing an additional 2,550,676 shares during the period. Panagora Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Exelon by 81.6% in the third quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,032,339 shares of the energy giant’s stock valued at $176,052,000 after purchasing an additional 1,811,983 shares during the period. State Treasurer State of Michigan grew its position in shares of Exelon by 71.6% in the second quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 4,185,797 shares of the energy giant’s stock valued at $178,315,000 after purchasing an additional 1,746,700 shares during the period. Finally, Zimmer Partners LP acquired a new stake in shares of Exelon in the third quarter valued at about $69,507,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.39% of the company’s stock.

Exelon Company Profile

Exelon Corporation, a utility services holding company, engages in energy generation and delivery businesses in the United States and Canada. The company owns electric generating facilities, such as nuclear, fossil, wind, hydroelectric, and solar generating facilities. It also sells electricity to wholesale and retail customers; and sells natural gas, renewable energy, and other energy-related products and services.

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