Xcel Energy (XEL) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $50.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 9.63% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “In the last 12 months, shares of Xcel Energy have gained against decline of its industry. 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. However, Xcel Energy’s rising 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.”

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Other analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Xcel Energy from $48.00 to $50.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday. JPMorgan Chase raised their price objective on shares of Xcel Energy from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 28th. SunTrust Banks set a $43.00 price objective on shares of Xcel Energy and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, February 12th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $49.00 price objective on shares of Xcel Energy in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Finally, Bank of America reduced their price objective on shares of Xcel Energy from $49.00 to $47.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, February 8th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $47.77.

NYSE:XEL traded up $0.33 on Tuesday, reaching $45.61. 1,662,742 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,743,133. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.27, a quick ratio of 0.68 and a current ratio of 0.87. Xcel Energy has a 12 month low of $41.51 and a 12 month high of $52.22.

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.42 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $2.80 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.84 billion. Xcel Energy had a net margin of 10.06% and a return on equity of 10.44%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.45 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Xcel Energy will post 2.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Xcel Energy in the fourth quarter worth approximately $105,000. Avestar Capital LLC purchased a new position in shares of Xcel Energy in the fourth quarter worth approximately $134,000. Weatherstone Capital Management purchased a new position in shares of Xcel Energy in the fourth quarter worth approximately $208,000. UMB Bank N A MO purchased a new position in shares of Xcel Energy in the fourth quarter worth approximately $212,000. Finally, ETRADE Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Xcel Energy in the fourth quarter worth approximately $225,000. 73.96% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Xcel Energy Company Profile

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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