Investors Buy Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) on Weakness on Analyst Downgrade

Investors bought shares of Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) on weakness during trading hours on Friday after Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on the stock from $91.00 to $85.00. $555.99 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $166.93 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $389.06 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Duke Energy had the 18th highest net in-flow for the day. Duke Energy traded down ($0.80) for the day and closed at $79.82

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on DUK. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Duke Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, May 30th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reduced their price objective on shares of Duke Energy from $77.00 to $72.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, June 7th. Bank of America raised shares of Duke Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $81.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, June 20th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Duke Energy from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 2nd. Finally, Barclays began coverage on shares of Duke Energy in a report on Tuesday, July 10th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $86.00 target price on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $84.06.

In other Duke Energy news, COO Dhiaa M. Jamil sold 7,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.98, for a total value of $566,860.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 4,279 shares in the company, valued at $346,513.42. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, COO Dhiaa M. Jamil sold 4,279 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.54, for a total transaction of $348,909.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 11,779 shares of company stock worth $956,650. Company insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. WINTON GROUP Ltd raised its holdings in shares of Duke Energy by 8.9% during the first quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 8,790 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $681,000 after acquiring an additional 721 shares during the period. Boothe Investment Group Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Duke Energy during the second quarter worth $420,000. Zimmer Partners LP raised its holdings in shares of Duke Energy by 939.3% during the first quarter. Zimmer Partners LP now owns 7,110,600 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $550,858,000 after acquiring an additional 6,426,400 shares during the period. Community Bank & Trust Waco Texas raised its holdings in shares of Duke Energy by 59.0% during the second quarter. Community Bank & Trust Waco Texas now owns 7,400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $585,000 after acquiring an additional 2,745 shares during the period. Finally, American Research & Management Co. acquired a new stake in shares of Duke Energy during the second quarter worth $1,158,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.67% of the company’s stock.

The company has a current ratio of 0.66, a quick ratio of 0.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17. The firm has a market capitalization of $56.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.84, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.64 and a beta of 0.04.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.01 by ($0.08). Duke Energy had a return on equity of 7.92% and a net margin of 11.52%. The company had revenue of $5.64 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.61 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.01 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Duke Energy Corp will post 4.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 17th were paid a $0.9275 dividend. This is a positive change from Duke Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.89. This represents a $3.71 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.65%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 16th. Duke Energy’s payout ratio is presently 81.18%.

About Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK)

Duke Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company in the United States. It operates through three segments: Electric Utilities and Infrastructure, Gas Utilities and Infrastructure, and Commercial Renewables. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure segment generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electricity in the Carolinas, Florida, and the Midwest; uses coal, hydroelectric, natural gas, oil, renewable sources, and nuclear fuel to generate electricity; and engages in the wholesale of electricity to municipalities, electric cooperative utilities, and other load-serving entities.

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