Trade-Ideas: Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) Is Today's Unusual Social Activity Stock

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Duke Energy Corporation ( DUK) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Duke Energy Corporation as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • DUK has 11x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 4.48 mentions/day.
  • DUK has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $233.0 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on DUK:

Duke Energy Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. It operates through three segments: Regulated Utilities, International Energy, and Commercial Power. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 4%. DUK has a PE ratio of 22.7. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Duke Energy Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Duke Energy Corporation has been 3.7 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Duke Energy has a market cap of $55.5 billion and is part of the utilities sector and utilities industry. The stock has a beta of 0.16 and a short float of 0.9% with 7.44 days to cover. Shares are down 6.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Duke Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $1,419.00 million or 1.93% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -13.23%.
  • DUKE ENERGY CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, DUKE ENERGY CORP reported lower earnings of $3.47 versus $3.63 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.66 versus $3.47).
  • DUK, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 9.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.04, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Electric Utilities industry. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.35 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.

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