Duke Energy Co. (NYSE:DUK) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

Duke Energy Co. (NYSE:DUKGet Rating) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest during the month of December. As of December 30th, there was short interest totalling 8,620,000 shares, a growth of 8.7% from the December 15th total of 7,930,000 shares. Currently, 1.1% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 3,210,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.7 days.

Duke Energy Stock Performance

Shares of NYSE:DUK traded down $0.17 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $100.82. 1,737,293 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,682,616. The company has a market cap of $77.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.36, a P/E/G ratio of 3.29 and a beta of 0.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.32, a quick ratio of 0.56 and a current ratio of 0.77. Duke Energy has a one year low of $83.76 and a one year high of $116.33. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $101.46 and a 200 day moving average of $101.84.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUKGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported $1.78 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.83 by ($0.05). The business had revenue of $7.97 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.45 billion. Duke Energy had a net margin of 14.03% and a return on equity of 8.24%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.88 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Duke Energy will post 5.29 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Duke Energy Dividend Announcement

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 17th will be issued a $1.005 dividend. This represents a $4.02 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.99%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 16th. Duke Energy’s dividend payout ratio is 81.05%.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

DUK has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Seaport Res Ptn cut Duke Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, November 21st. Wells Fargo & Company upped their price target on Duke Energy from $99.00 to $111.00 in a research note on Wednesday, December 14th. Guggenheim reduced their price target on Duke Energy from $119.00 to $97.00 in a research note on Monday, October 24th. BMO Capital Markets upped their price target on Duke Energy from $107.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 4th. Finally, Mizuho upped their price target on Duke Energy from $100.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, December 9th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, Duke Energy has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $107.45.

Insider Buying and Selling at Duke Energy

In other Duke Energy news, EVP Steven K. Young sold 415 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.57, for a total value of $38,831.55. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 112,412 shares in the company, valued at $10,518,390.84. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.10% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Legend Financial Advisors Inc. bought a new position in Duke Energy in the third quarter valued at about $25,000. Lowe Wealth Advisors LLC increased its position in Duke Energy by 124.8% in the third quarter. Lowe Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 299 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $28,000 after buying an additional 166 shares in the last quarter. EWG Elevate Inc. purchased a new stake in Duke Energy in the fourth quarter worth about $28,000. WJ Interests LLC purchased a new stake in Duke Energy in the fourth quarter worth about $29,000. Finally, Ameliora Wealth Management Ltd. purchased a new stake in Duke Energy in the third quarter worth about $30,000. Institutional investors own 63.22% of the company’s stock.

Duke Energy Company Profile

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Duke Energy Corp. engages in the distribution of natural gas and energy related services. It operates through the following segments: Electric Utilities and Infrastructure, Gas Utilities & Infrastructure and Commercial Renewables. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure segment conducts operations in regulated electric utilities in the Carolinas, Florida and the Midwest.

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