Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) has received a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the seventeen research firms that are presently covering the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $79.85.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on DUK. Scotiabank reissued a “sector perform” rating and issued a $88.00 price target (up from $78.00) on shares of Duke Energy Corp. in a report on Wednesday, August 10th. Citigroup Inc. boosted their price target on Duke Energy Corp. from $72.00 to $82.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. Mizuho reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $75.00 price target on shares of Duke Energy Corp. in a report on Thursday, June 30th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Duke Energy Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 15th. Finally, SunTrust Banks Inc. decreased their price target on Duke Energy Corp. from $82.00 to $80.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Monday, September 12th.

Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) opened at 79.61 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $54.85 billion, a P/E 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. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $82.29 and its 200-day moving average price is $80.84.

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

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 12th were issued a $0.855 dividend. This is a boost from Duke Energy Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.83. This represents a $3.42 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.30%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 10th. Duke Energy Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 90.24%.

In other Duke Energy Corp. news, EVP Douglas F. Esamann sold 3,000 shares of the company’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 completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 50,609 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,280,509.22. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 0.08% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of DUK. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Duke Energy Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at about $333,674,000. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Duke Energy Corp. by 7.1% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 33,751,418 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,723,058,000 after buying an additional 2,230,071 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in shares of Duke Energy Corp. by 18.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 12,910,189 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,107,565,000 after buying an additional 2,003,471 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Duke Energy Corp. by 3.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 44,722,836 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,836,772,000 after buying an additional 1,482,476 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Emerald Acquisition Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Duke Energy Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $106,672,000. 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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