Zacks Investment Research Lowers NextEra Energy (NEE) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors 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.”

NEE has been the topic of a number of other research reports. ValuEngine downgraded NextEra Energy from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, May 17th. Howard Weil assumed coverage on NextEra Energy in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. They set a sector perform rating on the stock. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on NextEra Energy from $168.00 to $174.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Monday, April 16th. Barclays assumed coverage on NextEra Energy in a research report on Tuesday, July 10th. They set an equal weight rating and a $182.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Scotiabank assumed coverage on NextEra Energy in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. They set a hold rating and a $70.00 price target on the stock. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. NextEra Energy currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $165.67.

Shares of NYSE:NEE traded up $0.08 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $170.93. The company had a trading volume of 1,121,039 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,534,098. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a current ratio of 0.58. The company has a market cap 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 has a 1-year low of $144.70 and a 1-year high of $173.06.

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

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

In other news, Director James L. Robo sold 81,489 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $156.81, for a total transaction of $12,778,290.09. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Armando Pimentel, Jr. sold 8,336 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $157.15, for a total value of $1,310,002.40. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 77,139 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,122,393.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 129,673 shares of company stock valued at $20,534,245. Corporate insiders own 0.55% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Philadelphia Trust Co. boosted its stake in shares of NextEra Energy by 8.0% in the second quarter. Philadelphia Trust Co. now owns 4,047 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $676,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the period. Exchange Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of NextEra Energy by 8.1% in the second quarter. Exchange Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,247 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $709,000 after buying an additional 319 shares during the period. Inverness Counsel LLC NY boosted its stake 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 buying an additional 329 shares during the period. Kovack Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of NextEra Energy by 16.8% in the second quarter. Kovack Advisors Inc. now owns 2,444 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $408,000 after buying an additional 351 shares during the period. Finally, Fiera Capital Corp boosted its stake in shares of NextEra Energy by 2.9% in the second quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 12,935 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,161,000 after buying an additional 359 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 75.78% of the company’s stock.

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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