Xcel Energy Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (NASDAQ:XEL)

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Xcel Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:XEL) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Friday. Stock traders purchased 10,874 put options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 1,775% compared to the typical daily volume of 580 put options.

Shares of NASDAQ:XEL opened at $67.70 on Friday. Xcel Energy has a 12-month low of $57.23 and a 12-month high of $72.94. The stock has a market cap of $36.47 billion, a PE ratio of 23.18, a P/E/G ratio of 3.52 and a beta of 0.35. The business has a 50 day moving average of $65.51 and a 200-day moving average of $66.43. The company has a quick ratio of 0.68, a current ratio of 0.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.38.

Xcel Energy (NASDAQ:XEL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 28th. The company reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.18 by ($0.05). Xcel Energy had a return on equity of 10.60% and a net margin of 12.06%. The firm had revenue of $3.47 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.41 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.14 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 9.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Xcel Energy will post 2.97 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 20th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, December 22nd will be issued a dividend of $0.4575 per share. This represents a $1.83 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.70%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, December 21st. Xcel Energy’s dividend payout ratio is presently 62.67%.

In other Xcel Energy news, SVP Frank P. Prager sold 3,150 shares of Xcel Energy stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.60, for a total value of $203,490.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman Benjamin G. S. Fowke III sold 50,000 shares of Xcel Energy stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.57, for a total value of $3,378,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.16% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 9.8% in the second quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,477 shares of the company’s stock valued at $295,000 after buying an additional 401 shares during the period. Brinker Capital Investments LLC bought a new stake in shares of Xcel Energy in the second quarter valued at approximately $233,000. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 9.0% in the second quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 176,308 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,615,000 after buying an additional 14,512 shares during the period. FDx Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Xcel Energy in the second quarter valued at approximately $264,000. Finally, MUFG Americas Holdings Corp boosted its stake in shares of Xcel Energy by 119.1% in the second quarter. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp now owns 710 shares of the company’s stock valued at $47,000 after buying an additional 386 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 76.17% of the company’s stock.

XEL has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Bank of America raised Xcel Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $67.00 to $72.00 in a research report on Friday, October 29th. BMO Capital Markets raised Xcel Energy from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $68.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Sunday, November 21st. The Goldman Sachs Group raised Xcel Energy from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $73.00 to $76.00 in a research report on Tuesday, October 12th. KeyCorp lifted their target price on Xcel Energy from $74.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 19th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upgraded Xcel Energy from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $65.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 19th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $71.63.

Xcel Energy Company Profile

Xcel Energy, Inc operates as a holding company, which engages in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity. It operates through the following three segments: Regulated Electric Utility, Regulated Natural Gas Utility and All Others. The Regulated Electric Utility segment generates, transmits and distributes electricity primarily in portions of generates, transmits and distributes electricity in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico.

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