Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday, August 8th.

According to Zacks, “Sempra Energy posted impressive second-quarter results, wherein both earnings and revenues surpassed the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. Results also improved year over year. The company’s raised guidance for 2017 also buoys optimism. Notably, Sempra Energy enjoys a significant position in the Utilities sector, given its stable earnings from utility subsidiaries. Its future cash inflow will likely get tailwinds from LNG development prospects and renewable expansions. The company’s efforts on maximizing shareholder value through the payment of regular dividends are likely to retain investors’ interest in the stock. Also the stock outperformed the broader industry in past six months. However, Sempra Energy continues to face headwinds in the form of stringent government regulations and operational risks. Also the company faces foreign currency risks due to its significant presence in Mexico and South America.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. UBS AG reissued a buy rating and issued a $128.00 target price (up previously from $124.00) on shares of Sempra Energy in a report on Tuesday, April 18th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a buy rating and issued a $117.00 target price on shares of Sempra Energy in a report on Monday, July 24th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and issued a $115.00 target price on shares of Sempra Energy in a report on Wednesday, May 10th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Sempra Energy from $129.00 to $130.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Monday, May 8th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Sempra Energy from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, June 21st. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. Sempra Energy currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $121.00.

Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) opened at 116.55 on Tuesday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $113.93 and its 200 day moving average price is $111.72. The stock has a market capitalization of $29.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.24 and a beta of 0.54. Sempra Energy has a 52 week low of $92.95 and a 52 week high of $117.97.

Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) last posted its earnings results on Friday, August 4th. The utilities provider reported $1.10 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.30. The firm had revenue of $2.53 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.46 billion. Sempra Energy had a return on equity of 9.11% and a net margin of 15.51%. Sempra Energy’s revenue for the quarter was up 17.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.79 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Sempra Energy will post $5.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Sempra Energy news, CEO Debra L. Reed sold 23,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $113.43, for a total transaction of $2,608,890.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 112,345 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,743,293.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.17% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of SRE. Toronto Dominion Bank raised its position in Sempra Energy by 25.7% in the second quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 84,810 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $9,561,000 after buying an additional 17,343 shares in the last quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers bought a new position in Sempra Energy during the second quarter worth about $983,000. WINTON GROUP Ltd bought a new position in Sempra Energy during the second quarter worth about $360,000. Covington Capital Management raised its position in Sempra Energy by 8.4% in the second quarter. Covington Capital Management now owns 36,069 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,067,000 after buying an additional 2,800 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nomura Holdings Inc. raised its position in Sempra Energy by 585.2% in the second quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. now owns 22,202 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,505,000 after buying an additional 18,962 shares in the last quarter. 80.54% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Sempra Energy Company Profile

Sempra Energy is a holding company. The Company’s principal operating units are Sempra Utilities, which includes its San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and Sempra South American Utilities segments, and Sempra Infrastructure, which includes its Sempra Mexico, Sempra Renewables and Sempra LNG & Midstream segments.

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