Energy stock to watch: CenterPoint Energy, Inc.(NYSE: CNP)

CenterPoint Energy, Inc.(NYSE: CNP) is downgraded by Royal Bank of Canada from Outperform to Sector Perform with a price target of $28.00. UBS has initiated coverage on CNP’s stock to Neutral with no specific Price Target.

Meanwhile, CenterPoint Energy has reported the adjusted earnings per share of $0.26 in the quarter 2016, missing the analysts’ estimates for the adjusted earnings per share of $0.28. The company had reported the adjusted revenue growth of 16.2 percent to $2.08 billion in the fourth quarter 2016, missing the analysts’ estimates for revenue of $2.18 billion. The company has recently paid a quarterly dividend of $0.2675 per share on 10th March.

The increase in the top line was mainly due to higher contribution from Electric Transmission & Distribution and Natural Gas Distribution, offset marginally by lower contribution from Energy Services. The company posted the full-year revenues at $7.53 billion, missing the analysts’ consensus estimate of $7.68 billion by 2%.

CenterPoint Energy expects its 2017 earnings per diluted share in the range of $1.25–$1.33. This includes estimated utility operations earnings per diluted share of $0.93–$0.97 and midstream investment earnings per diluted share of $0.31–$0.37. The utility operations guidance range has considered the performance to date and certain significant variables that may impact earnings, such as weather, regulatory and judicial proceedings, throughput, commodity prices, effective tax rates, and financing activities.

Additionally, CenterPoint Energy, has announced three executive positions, Scott Doyle, SVP Natural Gas Distribution,  Joe Vortherms, SVP Energy Services and Jason Ryan, VP Regulatory and Government Affairs and made organizational changes.

Meanwhile, CenterPoint Energy has closed on a previously announced agreement to acquire Atmos Energy’s retail energy services business, Atmos Energy Marketing, LLC (AEM). The transaction is considered as a strategic fit for both CES and AEM, and the acquisition will enable CES to more effectively access the new markets and customer segments, grow the customer base and gross margins, and maintain the low value-at-risk, cost-effective organizational structure. With the addition of this business, CES will now operate in six additional states for a total of 32 states and will deliver in excess of 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to approximately 100,000 customers annually, including 33,000 metered commercial and industrial customers and 65,000 individual Choice retail customers.

CenterPoint Energy stock has risen 36.05% in the last one year (source: Google Finance).

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