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Duke Turns Down NextEra Takeover Attempt- Report

support@smarteranalyst.com (Ben Mahaney)
·2 min read

NextEra Energy (NEE) made an attempt to buy peer Duke Energy Corp., the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. However, Duke turned down NextEra’s takeover approach. Shares of NextEra Energy were marginally down, while Duke Energy gained 6.8% in the extended trading session amid deal speculations.

According to the report, NextEra Energy is “testing the waters for what would be a $60 billion-plus combination of two Southern utilities.” Power producer NextEra is still interested in taking the Duke Energy (DUK) deal forward. Meanwhile, the report also said that there is “no guarantee NextEra will do so and if it does, that a deal would result.”

Earlier on Tuesday, NextEra’s unit NextEra Energy Transmission entered into an agreement with Blackstone affiliates to acquire electric transmission firm GridLiance for about $660 million, including debt. Following regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close in 2021. (See NEE stock analysis on TipRanks).

On Sept. 22, J.P. Morgan analyst Jeremy Tonet raised his price target on NextEra Energy to $297 (4.9% upside potential) from $289 and maintained a Buy rating on the shares, after the company raised its financial expectations for 2021 and 2022 and extended its longer-term growth outlook to 2023.

Currently, the Street has a cautiously optimistic outlook on the stock. The Moderate Buy analyst consensus is based on 7 Buys ratings and 5 Holds. The average price target of $284.09 implies that shares are fully priced at current levels. Shares have gained 16.9% year-to-date.

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