Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Duke Energy boasts a robust five-year capital plan and currently plans to invest about $37 billion in growth projects over the 2017-2021 time frame. Going forward, the company’s five-year plan also includes investment of $3.3 billion in highly-efficient natural gas-fired combined-cycle plants. The company's loss was narrower than the broader industry's loss in the last 12 months. Potential volatility in market prices of fuel, electricity and other renewable energy commodities could create operational risks for the company. Duke Energy also faces challenges from severe weather conditions and natural calamities like hurricanes, which may result in breakdown and damage its infrastructure. This may interrupt the operations of the company and affect its performance.”

A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Goldman Sachs Group downgraded Duke Energy from a buy rating to a neutral rating and increased their price objective for the company from $80.11 to $88.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Bank of America restated a neutral rating and issued a $92.00 price objective on shares of Duke Energy in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Duke Energy from $95.00 to $96.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Citigroup increased their price target on Duke Energy from $74.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Finally, SunTrust Banks reiterated a hold rating and set a $83.00 price target on shares of Duke Energy in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $87.18.

Shares of Duke Energy (NYSE DUK) opened at $77.08 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $53,765.13, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.26, a P/E/G ratio of 3.98 and a beta of 0.12. Duke Energy has a 1-year low of $72.93 and a 1-year high of $91.80. The company has a quick ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 0.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.89 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 15th. This represents a $3.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.62%. Duke Energy’s payout ratio is currently 117.49%.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of DUK. Pinebridge Investments L.P. bought a new position in shares of Duke Energy during the 2nd quarter worth about $500,000. Trust Co. of Virginia VA boosted its position in shares of Duke Energy by 11.5% during the 2nd quarter. Trust Co. of Virginia VA now owns 13,500 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,129,000 after purchasing an additional 1,392 shares in the last quarter. BB&T Investment Services Inc. boosted its position in shares of Duke Energy by 12.8% during the 3rd quarter. BB&T Investment Services Inc. now owns 16,991 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,424,000 after purchasing an additional 1,923 shares in the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. boosted its position in shares of Duke Energy by 26.4% during the 3rd quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 152,409 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $12,790,000 after purchasing an additional 31,789 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Iberiabank Corp boosted its position in shares of Duke Energy by 3.6% during the 3rd quarter. Iberiabank Corp now owns 65,328 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $5,487,000 after purchasing an additional 2,297 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 57.13% of the company’s stock.

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About Duke Energy

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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