CenterPoint Energy (CNP) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of CenterPoint Energy (NYSE:CNP) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $31.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “CenterPoint Energy 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. The company judiciously utilizes its funds in growth projects and at the same time preserves a stable financial position. The company's shares outperformed the broader industry in the last twelve months. However, its results are subject to the impact of weather patterns, regulatory and judicial proceedings along with fluctuating commodity prices.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on CNP. Bank of America began coverage on CenterPoint Energy in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. They set a neutral rating and a $30.00 target price on the stock. SunTrust Banks restated a hold rating and set a $30.00 target price on shares of CenterPoint Energy in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Guggenheim cut CenterPoint Energy from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Monday, December 4th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $30.00 target price on CenterPoint Energy and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Citigroup raised their target price on CenterPoint Energy from $27.00 to $30.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Monday, November 20th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $29.33.

Shares of CenterPoint Energy (NYSE:CNP) traded up $0.15 on Tuesday, reaching $27.52. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,906,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,914,530. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.08, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 0.91. CenterPoint Energy has a 12-month low of $25.31 and a 12-month high of $30.45. The company has a market capitalization of $12,040.00, a PE ratio of 19.94, a P/E/G ratio of 3.29 and a beta of 0.62.

CenterPoint Energy (NYSE:CNP) last issued its earnings results on Friday, November 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.39. CenterPoint Energy had a return on equity of 16.00% and a net margin of 6.59%. The firm had revenue of $2.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.07 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.41 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 11.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that CenterPoint Energy will post 1.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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 4.03%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 14th. This is a boost from CenterPoint Energy’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.27. CenterPoint Energy’s payout ratio is 77.54%.

In other news, CEO Scott M. Prochazka sold 1,000 shares of CenterPoint Energy stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.39, for a total transaction of $29,390.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders have sold a total of 3,000 shares of company stock worth $87,110 in the last quarter. 0.20% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Carnegie Capital Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Carnegie Capital Asset Management LLC now owns 12,513 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $353,000 after purchasing an additional 39 shares in the last quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of CenterPoint Energy during the 2nd quarter valued at about $153,000. Veritable L.P. lifted its holdings in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. Veritable L.P. now owns 11,989 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $328,000 after purchasing an additional 342 shares in the last quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 1.1% during the 2nd quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 33,735 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $924,000 after purchasing an additional 351 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Thrivent Financial For Lutherans lifted its holdings in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 2.7% during the 2nd quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 16,660 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $456,000 after purchasing an additional 440 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.72% 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.

Analyst Recommendations for CenterPoint Energy (NYSE:CNP)

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