Entergy (ETR) Upgraded to Strong-Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Entergy (NYSE:ETR) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $90.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Entergy's share price outperformed the broader industry’s gain in last three months, buoyed by its solid capital investment plans. Currently, Entergy plans to invest $11.22 billion in the 2018–2020 time frame for the modernization of grid with evolving customer demand. Meanwhile, the company maintains a stable liquidity position that enables it to make notable investment plans. Entergy continues to focus on maximizing shareholder value through the regular payment of dividends. It intends to raise its dividend constantly and steadily, in sync with its investment strategy. Further, to pursue growth opportunities in the generation business, the company has a strong project pipeline. However, any adverse decision in pending regulatory cases can materially impact earnings.”

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Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on ETR. Guggenheim reissued a buy rating and set a $101.00 target price on shares of Entergy in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. JPMorgan Chase raised their target price on shares of Entergy from $78.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, April 10th. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Entergy from $76.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Monday, April 16th. Wells Fargo reissued an outperform rating and set a $90.00 target price (down previously from $96.00) on shares of Entergy in a report on Monday, February 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Entergy from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, April 12th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $84.65.

Shares of Entergy stock opened at $78.98 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.79, a current ratio of 0.65 and a quick ratio of 0.47. Entergy has a 1 year low of $71.95 and a 1 year high of $87.95. The firm has a market cap of $14,465.25, a P/E ratio of 11.10, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 0.47.

Entergy (NYSE:ETR) last issued its earnings results on Friday, February 23rd. The utilities provider reported $0.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.34. Entergy had a net margin of 3.81% and a return on equity of 15.79%. The firm had revenue of $2.62 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.33 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.31 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Entergy will post 5.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, May 10th will be given a dividend of $0.89 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 9th. This represents a $3.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.51%. Entergy’s dividend payout ratio is presently 49.44%.

In related news, SVP Alyson M. Mount sold 10,396 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.50, for a total transaction of $816,086.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Haley Fisackerly sold 500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.02, for a total transaction of $39,010.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.24% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Advisors Preferred LLC grew its position in shares of Entergy by 1,174.7% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Preferred LLC now owns 1,262 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $103,000 after purchasing an additional 1,163 shares during the period. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Entergy in the fourth quarter valued at about $123,000. Calton & Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Entergy in the fourth quarter valued at about $130,000. NuWave Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Entergy in the fourth quarter valued at about $193,000. Finally, Segment Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Entergy in the fourth quarter valued at about $201,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.44% of the company’s stock.

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Entergy Company Profile

Entergy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the production and distribution of electricity in the United States. It generates electricity through gas/oil, nuclear, coal, hydro, and solar power sources. The company's Utility segment generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electric power in portions of Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana, including the City of New Orleans; and distributes natural gas.

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