Exelon (EXC) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Exelon (NYSE:EXC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $40.00 price objective on the energy giant’s stock.

According to Zacks, “In a year, shares of the Exelon Corporation have gained against decline of the industry it belongs to. Its fourth-quarter earnings lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate but increased year over year. The improvement was due to rate increases and favorable weather. Exelon continues with its hedging program to manage market risks and protect the value of its generation. Strong cash flow generation capacity will help it lower debt levels and increase value of its shareholders. It is also expected to reap the benefits from its organic investment, acquisition and cost savings. However, Exelon is subject to the impact of commodity price volatility and price fluctuation in the wholesale markets. Stringent government regulation is also a cause of concern.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. UBS Group assumed coverage on Exelon in a report on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a buy rating and a $44.00 target price for the company. KeyCorp reduced their target price on Exelon from $45.00 to $40.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a report on Friday. SunTrust Banks reissued a buy rating and issued a $41.00 target price on shares of Exelon in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on Exelon from $42.00 to $41.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a report on Thursday. Finally, Mizuho raised Exelon from an underperform rating to a neutral rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $36.00 to $40.00 in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $41.03.

Exelon (EXC) traded up $0.88 during trading on Friday, hitting $36.86. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 10,826,831 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,790,000. The company has a market cap of $36,280.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.55 and a beta of 0.23. Exelon has a twelve month low of $33.30 and a twelve month high of $42.67. The company has a current ratio of 1.10, a quick ratio of 0.89 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01.

Exelon (NYSE:EXC) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The energy giant reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.60 by ($0.05). The business had revenue of $8.38 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.66 billion. Exelon had a return on equity of 8.35% and a net margin of 11.53%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.44 EPS. research analysts expect that Exelon will post 3.02 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 9th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 15th will be issued a $0.345 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 14th. This represents a $1.38 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.74%. This is a positive change from Exelon’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.33. Exelon’s payout ratio is presently 33.25%.

In related news, EVP Paymon Aliabadi sold 13,334 shares of Exelon stock in a transaction on Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.62, for a total value of $541,627.08. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 26,435 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,073,789.70. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. NuWave Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Exelon in the fourth quarter worth $105,000. Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. bought a new stake in Exelon during the third quarter valued at about $102,000. Baker Ellis Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Exelon during the fourth quarter valued at about $118,000. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new stake in Exelon during the fourth quarter valued at about $122,000. Finally, Trustcore Financial Services LLC bought a new stake in Exelon during the fourth quarter valued at about $142,000. 77.71% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Exelon Company Profile

Exelon Corporation is a utility services holding company. The Company, through its subsidiary, Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Generation), is engaged in the energy generation business. The Company, through its subsidiaries, Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd), PECO Energy Company (PECO), Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), Pepco Holdings LLC (PHI), Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), Delmarva Power & Light Company (DPL) and Atlantic City Electric Company (ACE), is engaged in the energy delivery businesses.

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