Zacks Investment Research Lowers NextEra Energy (NEE) to Hold

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “In a year’s time, shares of NextEra Energy have gained against the decline of its industry. NextEra Energy’s investment to strengthen its infrastructure and ongoing capital projects, when completed, will help it serve its expanding customer base more efficiently. The expansion of its natural gas operation through strategic acquisitions is going to have a positive impact on earnings. However, the company’s nature of business is subject to complex and comprehensive federal, state and other regulations. Substantial investments are undertaken to ensure the safety of nuclear operation. That said, the risk of unplanned outages remains, which could derail its normal operation and impact profitability.”

Several other research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on NextEra Energy from $168.00 to $174.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Monday, April 16th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their target price on NextEra Energy from $170.00 to $171.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Thursday, April 26th. KeyCorp lifted their target price on NextEra Energy from $168.00 to $178.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Thursday, July 19th. ValuEngine upgraded NextEra Energy from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, June 1st. Finally, Howard Weil started coverage on NextEra Energy in a report on Tuesday, July 24th. They set a sector perform rating on the stock. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. NextEra Energy currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $165.67.

Shares of NextEra Energy traded up $0.08, hitting $170.93, during midday trading on Thursday, Marketbeat.com reports. The company had a trading volume of 1,121,039 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,534,098. NextEra Energy has a 12 month low of $144.70 and a 12 month high of $173.06. The company has a quick ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 0.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78. The firm has a market capitalization of $80.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.51, a P/E/G ratio of 2.63 and a beta of 0.24.

NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 25th. The utilities provider reported $2.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.06 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $4.07 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.51 billion. NextEra Energy had a return on equity of 10.49% and a net margin of 49.10%. The firm’s revenue was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.86 EPS. equities research analysts expect that NextEra Energy will post 7.74 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 17th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 30th will be paid a $1.11 dividend. This represents a $4.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.60%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 29th. NextEra Energy’s dividend payout ratio is 66.27%.

In other NextEra Energy news, Director James L. Robo sold 81,489 shares of NextEra Energy stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.81, for a total value of $12,778,290.09. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Armando Pimentel, Jr. sold 8,336 shares of NextEra Energy stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.15, for a total value of $1,310,002.40. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 77,139 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,122,393.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 129,673 shares of company stock worth $20,534,245 in the last three months. Company insiders own 0.55% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NEE. FDx Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of NextEra Energy by 3.7% in the first quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 23,657 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,864,000 after acquiring an additional 842 shares during the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. increased its position in shares of NextEra Energy by 9.0% in the first quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 25,438 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,155,000 after acquiring an additional 2,093 shares during the last quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH increased its position in shares of NextEra Energy by 250.8% in the first quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH now owns 78,657 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $12,709,000 after acquiring an additional 56,236 shares during the last quarter. Inverness Counsel LLC NY increased its position in shares of NextEra Energy by 19.0% in the first quarter. Inverness Counsel LLC NY now owns 2,060 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $336,000 after acquiring an additional 329 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wealthstreet Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of NextEra Energy by 8.9% in the first quarter. Wealthstreet Investment Advisors LLC now owns 11,341 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,853,000 after acquiring an additional 928 shares during the last quarter. 75.78% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About NextEra Energy

NextEra Energy, Inc, through its subsidiaries, generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electric power to retail and wholesale customers in North America. The company generates electricity through wind, solar, nuclear, and natural gas-fired facilities. It also provides risk management services related to power and gas consumption.

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