Goldman Sachs Group downgraded shares of Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning, MarketBeat.com reports. Goldman Sachs Group currently has $88.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock, up from their prior target price of $80.11.

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on DUK. Citigroup raised their price target on Duke Energy from $74.00 to $77.00 and gave the company a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. ValuEngine cut Duke Energy from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Guggenheim reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $96.00 price target on shares of Duke Energy in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $87.00 price target on shares of Duke Energy in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Duke Energy from $95.00 to $96.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. Duke Energy has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $87.48.

Shares of Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) opened at $78.90 on Wednesday. Duke Energy has a twelve month low of $76.28 and a twelve month high of $91.80. The firm has a market capitalization of $55,494.06, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.04, a P/E/G ratio of 4.10 and a beta of 0.26. The company has a current ratio of 0.71, a quick ratio of 0.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.59 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.56 by $0.03. Duke Energy had a return on equity of 7.54% and a net margin of 9.09%. The firm had revenue of $6.48 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.43 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.68 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts anticipate that Duke Energy will post 4.56 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 16th will be paid a $0.89 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 15th. This represents a $3.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.51%. Duke Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 117.49%.

In other news, EVP Lloyd M. Yates sold 5,000 shares of Duke Energy stock in a transaction on Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.95, for a total value of $449,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.07% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Financial Advisory Service Inc. boosted its position in shares of Duke Energy by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Financial Advisory Service Inc. now owns 6,722 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $562,000 after purchasing an additional 17 shares during the last quarter. Hodges Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Duke Energy by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Hodges Capital Management Inc. now owns 7,105 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $594,000 after purchasing an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. boosted its position in shares of Duke Energy by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. now owns 2,806 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $235,000 after purchasing an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC boosted its position in shares of Duke Energy by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 8,370 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $699,000 after purchasing an additional 24 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Shoker Investment Counsel Inc. boosted its position in shares of Duke Energy by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. Shoker Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 4,512 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $377,000 after purchasing an additional 28 shares during the last quarter. 57.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Duke Energy Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK)

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