Xcel Energy Inc (NYSE:XEL) Short Interest Down 12.1% in August

Xcel Energy Inc (NYSE:XEL) was the target of a large decline in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 10,808,470 shares, a decline of 12.1% from the August 15th total of 12,293,298 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 3,212,383 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.4 days. Approximately 2.1% of the shares of the company are short sold.

XEL has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Xcel Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, June 19th. Morgan Stanley downgraded Xcel Energy from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $52.00 to $50.00 in a research report on Friday, September 21st. Bank of America restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Xcel Energy in a research report on Wednesday, June 27th. Finally, Barclays began coverage on Xcel Energy in a research report on Tuesday, July 10th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $53.00 target price for the company. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. Xcel Energy has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $48.22.

In related news, Director Lynn Casey bought 1,000 shares of Xcel Energy stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 5th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $48.89 per share, with a total value of $48,890.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 3,131 shares in the company, valued at approximately $153,074.59. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Judy M. Poferl sold 7,182 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.67, for a total value of $349,547.94. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 25,460 shares in the company, valued at $1,239,138.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.22% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in Xcel Energy by 9.1% during the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 36,607,897 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,664,927,000 after purchasing an additional 3,045,166 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its stake in Xcel Energy by 26.9% during the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 12,662,118 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $575,873,000 after purchasing an additional 2,682,417 shares during the period. Scout Investments Inc. acquired a new stake in Xcel Energy during the second quarter worth approximately $54,838,000. Ceredex Value Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Xcel Energy during the first quarter worth approximately $53,865,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Xcel Energy by 2.4% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 43,709,878 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,987,925,000 after purchasing an additional 1,023,810 shares during the period. 73.96% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Xcel Energy stock traded up $0.41 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $48.78. The stock had a trading volume of 3,184,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,360,439. The company has a current ratio of 0.87, a quick ratio of 0.68 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.27. Xcel Energy has a one year low of $41.51 and a one year high of $52.22.

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.47 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $2.66 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.71 billion. Xcel Energy had a return on equity of 10.44% and a net margin of 10.06%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.45 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts predict that Xcel Energy will post 2.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, October 20th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 14th will be paid a $0.38 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 13th. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.12%.

Xcel Energy Company Profile

Xcel Energy Inc is a public utility holding company. The Company’s operations include the activity of four utility subsidiaries that serve electric and natural gas customers in eight states. The Company’s segments include regulated electric utility, regulated natural gas utility and all other. The Company’s utility subsidiaries include NSP-Minnesota, NSP-Wisconsin, Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo) and Southwestern Public Service Co (SPS), which serve customers in portions of Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

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