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Will This Price Target Increase Help Xcel Energy (XEL) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Xcel Energy (XEL) stock has had its price target increased to $36 from $32, Jefferies said Friday. The firm said the revision was driven by weather normalizing electric sales, resulting in growth assumptions. The stock's "buy" rating was reiterated. 

Must Read: Warren Buffett's 10 Favorite Growth Stocks 

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates XCEL ENERGY INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate XCEL ENERGY INC (XEL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • XEL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • XCEL ENERGY INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, XCEL ENERGY INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.91 versus $1.86 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.00 versus $1.91).
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $581.13 million or 34.26% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, XCEL ENERGY INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 44.78%.
  • In its most recent trading session, XEL has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Electric Utilities industry. The net income increased by 7.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $140.17 million to $150.06 million.
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