Alphasimplex Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) during the first quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund bought 4,425 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $398,000.

Several other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Aspire Private Capital LLC grew its position in shares of Duke Energy by 0.9% during the 1st quarter. Aspire Private Capital LLC now owns 26,308 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,368,000 after acquiring an additional 246 shares during the period. Hancock Whitney Corp lifted its stake in Duke Energy by 1.2% in the 1st quarter. Hancock Whitney Corp now owns 24,776 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,230,000 after buying an additional 302 shares in the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. lifted its stake in Duke Energy by 16.4% in the 1st quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 434,093 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $39,068,000 after buying an additional 61,072 shares in the last quarter. Duality Advisers LP lifted its stake in Duke Energy by 118.5% in the 1st quarter. Duality Advisers LP now owns 213,610 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $19,225,000 after buying an additional 115,830 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Maryland Capital Management lifted its stake in Duke Energy by 4.3% in the 1st quarter. Maryland Capital Management now owns 77,584 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,983,000 after buying an additional 3,217 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 60.18% of the company’s stock.

DUK opened at $86.65 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.25, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a current ratio of 0.75. Duke Energy Corp has a 1-year low of $72.01 and a 1-year high of $91.67. The company has a market capitalization of $62.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.66 and a beta of 0.13.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) last released its earnings results on Thursday, May 9th. The utilities provider reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.03. Duke Energy had a net margin of 12.00% and a return on equity of 7.70%. The business had revenue of $6.16 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.39 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.28 EPS. The business’s revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts forecast that Duke Energy Corp will post 4.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 17th will be paid a $0.9275 dividend. This represents a $3.71 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.28%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 16th. Duke Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 78.60%.

In other Duke Energy news, EVP Lloyd M. Yates sold 5,117 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.20, for a total value of $451,319.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Dwight L. Jacobs sold 1,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.92, for a total transaction of $146,064.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 6,091 shares in the company, valued at $523,338.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 8,598 shares of company stock worth $752,989 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.09% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on DUK shares. KeyCorp started coverage on shares of Duke Energy in a research note on Tuesday, June 4th. They issued a “sector weight” rating on the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Duke Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 3rd. Credit Suisse Group lowered shares of Duke Energy from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, February 15th. Bank of America raised their price target on shares of Duke Energy from $89.00 to $91.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, March 11th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Duke Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $87.60.

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Duke Energy Profile

Duke Energy Corp. engages in distribution of natural gas and energy related services. It operates through the following segments: Electric Utilities and Infrastructure, Gas Utilities and Infrastructure, and Commercial Renewables. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure segment conducts operations primarily through the regulated public utilities of Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Progress, Duke Energy Florida, Duke Energy Indiana and Duke Energy Ohio.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK)

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