Zacks Investment Research Lowers NextEra Energy (NEE) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of NextEra Energy have outperformed the industry’s rally in the last 12 months.  Investment made by the company to strengthen its infrastructure helped it overcome the difficult situation and quickly restore normalcy of operations in difficult weather conditions.  The company is consistently registering an increase in consumer count. The company’s focus on clean energy has lowered emission levels and saved on energy bills for its customers. The natural gas pipelines, which came online in first half, are expected to boost its performance. On the flip side, the company’s nature of business is subject to complex and comprehensive federal, state and other regulations. Unpredictable impact of natural disaster and delay in completion of ongoing projects could also impact profitability.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Argus restated a buy rating and issued a $173.00 price objective on shares of NextEra Energy in a research note on Tuesday, December 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Royal Bank of Canada restated a buy rating and issued a $156.00 price objective on shares of NextEra Energy in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of NextEra Energy in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. They issued a buy rating and a $166.00 price objective for the company. KeyCorp restated a buy rating and issued a $155.00 price objective on shares of NextEra Energy in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $169.00 price objective on shares of NextEra Energy and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. NextEra Energy currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $159.63.

NextEra Energy (NEE) traded up $0.69 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $151.71. The company had a trading volume of 2,580,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,850,000. The stock has a market capitalization of $71,360.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.05, a PEG ratio of 2.80 and a beta of 0.31. The company has a quick ratio of 0.49, a current ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11. NextEra Energy has a 52-week low of $117.33 and a 52-week high of $159.40.

NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The utilities provider reported $1.85 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.77 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $4.81 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.89 billion. NextEra Energy had a return on equity of 11.86% and a net margin of 24.81%. NextEra Energy’s revenue for the quarter was up .1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.74 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that NextEra Energy will post 6.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 24th were paid a dividend of $0.9825 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 22nd. This represents a $3.93 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.59%. NextEra Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 44.16%.

In other news, EVP Joseph T. Kelliher sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.00, for a total transaction of $300,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director James L. Robo sold 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $151.52, for a total transaction of $4,545,600.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 74,372 shares of company stock valued at $11,517,071 in the last quarter. Insiders own 0.53% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Achmea Investment Management B.V. boosted its stake in shares of NextEra Energy by 61.5% during the third quarter. Achmea Investment Management B.V. now owns 52,613 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $7,708,000 after buying an additional 20,028 shares during the period. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. raised its holdings in NextEra Energy by 64.6% during the second quarter. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. now owns 2,163 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $303,000 after purchasing an additional 849 shares in the last quarter. Colony Group LLC raised its holdings in NextEra Energy by 806.4% during the second quarter. Colony Group LLC now owns 15,517 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,174,000 after purchasing an additional 13,805 shares in the last quarter. South Dakota Investment Council purchased a new position in NextEra Energy during the third quarter worth about $2,535,000. Finally, Cookson Peirce & Co. Inc. purchased a new position in NextEra Energy during the second quarter worth about $9,809,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.38% of the company’s stock.

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About NextEra Energy

NextEra Energy, Inc (NEE) is a holding company. The Company is an electric power companies in North America and, through its subsidiary NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (NEER) and its affiliated entities, is the generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. NEE also owns and/or operates generation, transmission and distribution facilities to support its services to retail and wholesale customers, and has investments in gas infrastructure assets.

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