Sempra Energy (SRE) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Sempra Energy appears to be well positioned, given its stable earnings from utility subsidiaries. Moreover, the company continues with systematic investments in its infrastructure development projects. The company expects to make capital expenditure and investments of approximately $15.2 billion. Through these investments, the company aims at vigorously modernizing its electric transmission lines and substation infrastructure. However, Sempra Energy’s operations are subject to risks associated with breakdown or failure of equipment or processes. Also, it is subject to interest rate risk related to the issuance of debt. With the current U.S. economy being in favor of expanding interest rate, the credit market may not turn out to be much favorable for Sempra Energy. The company's shares underperformed its industry in the past 12 months.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Sempra Energy from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, December 5th. TheStreet raised shares of Sempra Energy from a c+ rating to a b rating in a report on Wednesday, November 7th. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price target on shares of Sempra Energy from $126.00 to $128.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Monday. Finally, Guggenheim reissued a buy rating and set a $133.00 price target on shares of Sempra Energy in a report on Monday, January 7th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $125.14.

NYSE SRE opened at $114.12 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $32.27 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.06, a PEG ratio of 2.39 and a beta of 0.51. Sempra Energy has a 52-week low of $100.49 and a 52-week high of $127.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.27, a current ratio of 0.59 and a quick ratio of 0.55.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Investors of record on Monday, December 31st were issued a dividend of $0.895 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 28th. This represents a $3.58 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.14%. Sempra Energy’s dividend payout ratio is currently 66.05%.

In other Sempra Energy news, insider Joseph A. Householder sold 11,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $115.14, for a total transaction of $1,335,624.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 95,527 shares in the company, valued at $10,998,978.78. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, VP Peter R. Wall sold 1,049 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $112.26, for a total transaction of $117,760.74. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 2,815 shares in the company, valued at $316,011.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 17,649 shares of company stock valued at $1,988,835 over the last three months. 0.16% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Sempra Energy by 5.0% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,783,386 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,364,110,000 after buying an additional 997,607 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc grew its position in Sempra Energy by 5.0% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 20,783,386 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,364,110,000 after buying an additional 997,607 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp grew its position in Sempra Energy by 3.7% during the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,581,680 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $387,503,000 after buying an additional 127,339 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its position in Sempra Energy by 10,582.1% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 3,099,319 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $29,000 after buying an additional 3,070,305 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in Sempra Energy by 1.5% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,391,551 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $272,041,000 after buying an additional 35,552 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 94.33% of the company’s stock.

Sempra Energy Company Profile

Sempra Energy, together with its subsidiaries, invests in, develops, and operates energy infrastructure, as well as provides electric and gas services in the United States and internationally. The company's San Diego Gas & Electric Company segment engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity.

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