Argus reaffirmed their hold rating on shares of Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) in a research note published on Wednesday morning.

“We expect above-average rate base growth over the next several years and view the company’s recent sale of nonregulated generating assets in the Midwest as a strong positive. Other positive fundamentals include the company’s improving balance sheet and well-managed nuclear-generating assets.”,” Argus’ analyst wrote.

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Scotiabank restated a sector perform rating and issued a $88.00 target price (up previously from $78.00) on shares of Duke Energy Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. Citigroup Inc. raised their target price on Duke Energy Corp. from $72.00 to $82.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 20th. Mizuho restated a neutral rating and issued a $75.00 target price on shares of Duke Energy Corp. in a research note on Thursday, June 30th. Zacks Investment Research cut Duke Energy Corp. from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, July 15th. Finally, SunTrust Banks Inc. lowered their target price on Duke Energy Corp. from $82.00 to $80.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Monday, September 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $79.91.

Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) opened at 79.61 on Wednesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $82.29 and a 200 day moving average price of $80.84. The stock has a market cap of $54.85 billion, a PE ratio of 21.04 and a beta of 0.06. Duke Energy Corp. has a 52-week low of $65.50 and a 52-week high of $87.31.

Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $1.07 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.06. The company earned $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.71 billion. Duke Energy Corp. had a return on equity of 7.85% and a net margin of 11.39%. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.95 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Duke Energy Corp. will post $4.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 12th were paid a $0.855 dividend. This is an increase from Duke Energy Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.83. This represents a $3.42 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.30%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 10th. Duke Energy Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 90.24%.

In other news, EVP Douglas F. Esamann sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.58, for a total value of $253,740.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 50,609 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,280,509.22. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 0.08% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Jolley Asset Management LLC increased its position in Duke Energy Corp. by 9.1% in the second quarter. Jolley Asset Management LLC now owns 1,186 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 99 shares during the period. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. increased its position in Duke Energy Corp. by 8.7% in the second quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 1,250 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Carnick & Kubik LLC bought a new position in Duke Energy Corp. during the first quarter valued at $113,000. Sunbelt Securities Inc. increased its position in Duke Energy Corp. by 14.3% in the second quarter. Sunbelt Securities Inc. now owns 1,523 shares of the company’s stock valued at $131,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the period. Finally, Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. increased its position in Duke Energy Corp. by 394.2% in the second quarter. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. now owns 1,705 shares of the company’s stock valued at $146,000 after buying an additional 1,360 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 56.77% of the company’s stock.

About Duke Energy Corp.

Duke Energy Corporation (Duke Energy) is an energy company. The Company’s segments include Regulated Utilities, International Energy and Commercial Portfolio. Duke Energy’s subsidiaries include its subsidiary registrants: Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (Duke Energy Carolinas); Progress Energy, Inc (Progress Energy); Duke Energy Progress, LLC (Duke Energy Progress); Duke Energy Florida, LLC (Duke Energy Florida); Duke Energy Ohio, Inc (Duke Energy Ohio), and Duke Energy Indiana, Inc (Duke Energy Indiana).

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