Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Monday. They currently have $204.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “In last 12 months, shares of NextEra Energy have outperformed its industry. The company’s investments to strengthen its infrastructure and ongoing capital projects, on completion, will help serve its expanding customer base more efficiently. The expansion of its natural gas operation through strategic acquisitions is going to have a positive impact on earnings. However, the company’s nature of business is subject to complex and comprehensive federal, state and other regulations. Substantial investments are undertaken to ensure the safety of nuclear operation. That said, the risk of unplanned outages remains, which could derail its normal operation and impact profitability.”

NEE has been the subject of several other research reports. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their price objective on shares of NextEra Energy from $191.00 to $200.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 10th. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on shares of NextEra Energy from $186.00 to $184.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price objective on shares of NextEra Energy from $186.00 to $193.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 12th. Barclays boosted their price objective on shares of NextEra Energy from $182.00 to $187.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Monday, November 19th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price objective on shares of NextEra Energy to $186.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $177.38.

Shares of NYSE:NEE opened at $175.65 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $86.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.22, a PEG ratio of 2.70 and a beta of 0.14. NextEra Energy has a 12 month low of $145.10 and a 12 month high of $184.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 0.65 and a quick ratio of 0.57.

NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 23rd. The utilities provider reported $2.18 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.15 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $4.42 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.92 billion. NextEra Energy had a net margin of 51.25% and a return on equity of 10.21%. NextEra Energy’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.85 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that NextEra Energy will post 7.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 30th were paid a $1.11 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 29th. This represents a $4.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.53%. NextEra Energy’s dividend payout ratio is presently 66.27%.

In other NextEra Energy news, Director James L. Robo sold 18,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $180.67, for a total value of $3,252,060.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Armando Pimentel, Jr. sold 35,347 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $180.81, for a total transaction of $6,391,091.07. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 94,596 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,103,902.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 90,614 shares of company stock valued at $16,229,527. Corporate insiders own 0.55% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC boosted its stake in shares of NextEra Energy by 7.6% in the 2nd quarter. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC now owns 32,470 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,423,000 after purchasing an additional 2,300 shares in the last quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of NextEra Energy by 4.8% in the 2nd quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 24,786 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,140,000 after purchasing an additional 1,129 shares in the last quarter. Folger Nolan Fleming Douglas Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of NextEra Energy by 2.1% in the 2nd quarter. Folger Nolan Fleming Douglas Capital Management Inc. now owns 21,139 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,531,000 after purchasing an additional 440 shares in the last quarter. Keybank National Association OH boosted its stake in shares of NextEra Energy by 9.2% in the 2nd quarter. Keybank National Association OH now owns 531,896 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $88,843,000 after purchasing an additional 44,839 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank boosted its stake in shares of NextEra Energy by 2.7% in the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 1,939,324 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $323,925,000 after purchasing an additional 50,300 shares in the last quarter. 75.79% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NextEra Energy Company Profile

NextEra Energy, Inc, through its subsidiaries, generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electric power to retail and wholesale customers in North America. The company generates electricity through wind, solar, nuclear, and natural gas-fired facilities. It also provides risk management services related to power and gas consumption.

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