Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of CenterPoint Energy (NYSE:CNP) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $30.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock.
According to Zacks, “CenterPoint Energy's share price has outperformed the broader industry in the last one year. The company has been strengthening its infrastructure through regular capital investment and acquisitions, which will help it to meet the requirements of an expanding customer base. Toward this end, the company continues with its capital expenditure plan of $7 billion from 2017 through 2021. It also received an approval for its transmission cost of service (TCOS) filing, which is projected to provide a $7.8 million annual increase in revenue. CenterPoint Energy is also investing substantially to expand its operations to cope with increasing utility demand. The company is currently focused on upgrading infrastructure and improving reliability. However, its results are subject to the impact of weather patterns, regulatory and judicial proceedings along with fluctuating commodity prices.”
Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on CNP. SunTrust Banks set a $27.00 target price on CenterPoint Energy and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Monday, February 12th. Bank of America assumed coverage on CenterPoint Energy in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a neutral rating and a $30.00 target price on the stock. Guggenheim cut CenterPoint Energy from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Monday, December 4th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Citigroup increased their target price on CenterPoint Energy from $27.00 to $30.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Monday, November 20th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. CenterPoint Energy presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $29.11.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 8th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.2775 per share. This represents a $1.11 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.12%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 14th. This is a positive change from CenterPoint Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.27. CenterPoint Energy’s dividend payout ratio is currently 80.43%.
In other news, CEO Scott M. Prochazka sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.11, for a total transaction of $28,110.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 3,000 shares of company stock valued at $85,410. Company insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. lifted its holdings in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 37.5% during the 4th quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 30,800 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $873,000 after purchasing an additional 8,400 shares during the last quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in CenterPoint Energy in the 4th quarter worth $3,782,000. Gotham Asset Management LLC raised its stake in CenterPoint Energy by 91.1% in the 4th quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 48,200 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,367,000 after acquiring an additional 22,973 shares during the last quarter. BB&T Securities LLC raised its stake in CenterPoint Energy by 24.7% in the 4th quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 9,670 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $274,000 after acquiring an additional 1,915 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan raised its stake in CenterPoint Energy by 34.2% in the 4th quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 58,710 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,665,000 after acquiring an additional 14,960 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.85% of the company’s stock.
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About CenterPoint Energy
CenterPoint Energy, Inc is a public utility holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates electric transmission and distribution facilities, and natural gas distribution facilities. The Electric Transmission & Distribution segment provides electric transmission and distribution services to retail electric providers.
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