Short Interest in Duke Energy Co. (NYSE:DUK) Increases By 8.7%

Duke Energy Co. (NYSE:DUKGet Rating) saw a large increase in short interest in the month of December. As of December 30th, there was short interest totalling 8,620,000 shares, an increase of 8.7% from the December 15th total of 7,930,000 shares. Approximately 1.1% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 3,210,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.7 days.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. KeyCorp cut their target price on Duke Energy from $116.00 to $108.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, October 20th. Guggenheim cut their target price on Duke Energy from $119.00 to $97.00 in a research note on Monday, October 24th. Seaport Res Ptn downgraded Duke Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, November 21st. Credit Suisse Group cut their target price on Duke Energy from $114.00 to $94.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 12th. Finally, Mizuho lifted their price target on shares of Duke Energy from $100.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, December 9th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, Duke Energy has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $107.45.

Insider Activity

In other news, EVP Steven K. Young sold 415 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 directly owns 112,412 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,518,390.84. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 0.10% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Duke Energy

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Hennion & Walsh Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Duke Energy by 11.4% during the second quarter. Hennion & Walsh Asset Management Inc. now owns 21,673 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,324,000 after acquiring an additional 2,223 shares during the last quarter. International Assets Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Duke Energy by 17.8% in the second quarter. International Assets Investment Management LLC now owns 5,532 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $593,000 after buying an additional 834 shares in the last quarter. MAI Capital Management raised its stake in Duke Energy by 39.1% in the second quarter. MAI Capital Management now owns 15,291 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,639,000 after buying an additional 4,295 shares in the last quarter. Equitable Trust Co. raised its stake in Duke Energy by 24.8% in the second quarter. Equitable Trust Co. now owns 6,666 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $715,000 after buying an additional 1,324 shares in the last quarter. Finally, StoneX Group Inc. bought a new position in Duke Energy in the second quarter worth about $906,000. 63.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Duke Energy Price Performance

Shares of DUK traded down $0.24 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $100.75. 1,530,807 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,678,507. Duke Energy has a 1 year low of $83.76 and a 1 year high of $116.33. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $101.46 and a 200 day moving average price of $101.84. The company has a market cap of $77.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.29 and a beta of 0.39. The company has a current ratio of 0.77, a quick ratio of 0.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.32.

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

Duke Energy Announces Dividend

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 17th will be paid a dividend of $1.005 per share. This represents a $4.02 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.99%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 16th. Duke Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 81.05%.

About Duke Energy

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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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