CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (CNP) Short Interest Up 25.4% in May

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CNP) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest during the month of May. As of May 15th, there was short interest totalling 14,749,705 shares, a growth of 25.4% from the April 30th total of 11,764,882 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 6,317,262 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.3 days. Approximately 3.6% of the shares of the company are short sold.

In related news, Director Ted Pound sold 3,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.39, for a total transaction of $84,448.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 18,302 shares in the company, valued at $482,989.78. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Scott M. Prochazka sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.38, for a total value of $101,520.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 73,979 shares of company stock worth $1,933,020 over the last 90 days. 0.22% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of CNP. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 108.7% during the fourth quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 3,665,608 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $103,956,000 after purchasing an additional 1,909,129 shares during the period. Millennium Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 207.3% during the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 465,729 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $13,208,000 after purchasing an additional 899,873 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its holdings in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 22.7% during the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 4,241,916 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $120,301,000 after purchasing an additional 784,061 shares during the period. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of CenterPoint Energy during the fourth quarter valued at $15,439,000. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of CenterPoint Energy by 8.2% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 5,188,640 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $146,888,000 after purchasing an additional 394,206 shares during the period. 79.12% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

CNP stock opened at $26.13 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.17, a quick ratio of 1.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.68. The firm has a market capitalization of $11.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.07, a P/E/G ratio of 3.08 and a beta of 0.50. CenterPoint Energy has a 1 year low of $24.81 and a 1 year high of $30.45.

CenterPoint Energy (NYSE:CNP) last posted its earnings results on Friday, May 4th. The utilities provider reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.44 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $3.16 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.69 billion. CenterPoint Energy had a return on equity of 16.22% and a net margin of 17.59%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 15.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.37 earnings per share. analysts predict that CenterPoint Energy will post 1.59 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.2775 per share. This represents a $1.11 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.25%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 16th. CenterPoint Energy’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 81.02%.

Several brokerages recently issued reports on CNP. Zacks Investment Research cut CenterPoint Energy from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 9th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded CenterPoint Energy from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their target price for the company from $27.00 to $30.00 in a research note on Wednesday, May 9th. Deutsche Bank upgraded CenterPoint Energy from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, May 7th. ValuEngine cut CenterPoint Energy from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 2nd. Finally, Bank of America started coverage on CenterPoint Energy in a research note on Wednesday, April 25th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $25.00 target price on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. CenterPoint Energy has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.13.

About CenterPoint Energy

CenterPoint Energy, Inc operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. The company's Electric Transmission & Distribution segment offers electric transmission and distribution services to retail electric providers, municipalities, electric cooperatives, and other distribution companies.

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