Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Saturday morning.

According to Zacks, “In the past 12 months, Xcel Energy's shares have gained against the industry's decline. The company is poised to gain from long-term investment plans, renewable generation and improving economic conditions in its service territories. The Colorado Energy Plan is approved, which will reduce carbon emission and increase renewable mix in the generation portfolio to 55% by 2026. Improving economic conditions in the company’s service territories continues to boost demand and customer count. However, Xcel Energy’s high debt level and increased O&M expenses are concerns, in an interest hike environment, with its debt/capital ratio currently higher than the industry average.”

Several other analysts also recently commented on the stock. Mizuho downgraded shares of Xcel Energy from a buy rating to a neutral rating and dropped their target price for the stock from $48.50 to $47.00 in a report on Friday, November 2nd. Argus raised their target price on shares of Xcel Energy from $53.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, October 31st. Finally, Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of Xcel Energy from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and dropped their target price for the stock from $52.00 to $50.00 in a report on Friday, September 21st. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $49.50.

Shares of XEL stock opened at $51.81 on Friday. Xcel Energy has a 52 week low of $41.51 and a 52 week high of $52.46.

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The utilities provider reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.98 by ($0.02). The business had revenue of $3.05 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.08 billion.

In other Xcel Energy news, Director Lynn Casey purchased 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 5th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $48.89 per share, with a total value of $48,890.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 3,131 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $153,074.59. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP Judy M. Poferl sold 7,182 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.67, for a total transaction of $349,547.94. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 25,460 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,239,138.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.22% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Legal & General Group Plc grew its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 1.9% during the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 4,868,549 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $229,819,000 after acquiring an additional 90,443 shares in the last quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group grew its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 4,560.7% during the 3rd quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 189,878 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,022,000 after acquiring an additional 185,804 shares in the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems bought a new position in shares of Xcel Energy during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $1,148,000. Alpine Global Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Xcel Energy during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $769,000. Finally, Koshinski Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 95.0% during the 3rd quarter. Koshinski Asset Management Inc. now owns 30,791 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,454,000 after acquiring an additional 15,002 shares in the last quarter. 73.96% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Xcel Energy

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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