Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Xcel Energy have outperformed than its industry in last three months. Xcel Energy is poised to gain from its long-term investment plans, renewable generation and improving economic conditions in its service territories. The constructive regulatory orders will also help the company. The recently announced Colorado Energy Plan is part of company’s long-term objective to cut down emission. Improvement in the electric and natural gas margins boosted  the company's performances and is expected to do so in upcoming quarters. Xcel Energy’s high debt level is a concern, in an interest hike environment, with its debt/capital ratio presently higher than the industry average. Lower-than-expected performance of its subsidiaries and cost of adhering stringent environmental regulation could hurt its profitability.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Bank of America lowered their price target on shares of Xcel Energy from $49.00 to $47.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, February 8th. Mizuho upgraded shares of Xcel Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, March 27th. SunTrust Banks set a $43.00 target price on shares of Xcel Energy and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, March 19th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating and issued a $49.00 target price on shares of Xcel Energy in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Finally, UBS Group assumed coverage on shares of Xcel Energy in a report on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $47.00 target price for the company. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Xcel Energy presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $48.00.

Shares of Xcel Energy opened at $45.52 on Wednesday, MarketBeat reports. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.27, a current ratio of 0.87 and a quick ratio of 0.68. Xcel Energy has a fifty-two week low of $41.51 and a fifty-two week high of $52.22.

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.51 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $2.95 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.98 billion. Xcel Energy had a net margin of 10.06% and a return on equity of 10.44%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.47 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that Xcel Energy will post 2.44 EPS for the current year.

In other Xcel Energy news, Chairman Benjamin G. S. Fowke III sold 80,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.01, for a total transaction of $3,760,800.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Timothy V. Wolf sold 3,163 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.15, for a total transaction of $142,809.45. Following the transaction, the director now owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $45,150. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.22% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Swiss National Bank raised its position in Xcel Energy by 1.5% during the 4th quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 3,017,983 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $145,195,000 after buying an additional 45,900 shares during the last quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. grew its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 17.2% during the 4th quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 67,170 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,232,000 after purchasing an additional 9,877 shares during the period. Lazard Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 3.9% during the 4th quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 1,351,511 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $65,020,000 after purchasing an additional 50,996 shares during the period. Vident Investment Advisory LLC grew its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 28.2% during the 4th quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC now owns 11,277 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $543,000 after purchasing an additional 2,481 shares during the period. Finally, First National Bank of Omaha grew its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 2.0% during the 4th quarter. First National Bank of Omaha now owns 185,658 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $8,932,000 after purchasing an additional 3,585 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.96% of the company’s stock.

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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