Xcel investing for growth

In Xcel Energy’s year-end earnings release on Feb. 1, the company laid out capital spending plans through 2017 that call for $13.2 billion in investment. So while Zachs Investment Research analysts said Xcel’s 2012 revenue “lagged,” the firm believes the investments will sustain the company’s growth.

“We believe the long-term investments undertaken by the company will not only boost its generation capabilities but will also enhance the reliability of the service rendered.” Zachs is maintaining a long-term “neutral” recommendation on Xcel.


Mixed reports at life time

Imperial Capital analyst Lee Giordano believes the expansion prospects for Life Time Fitness in 2013 are slowing. He’s downgraded the stock from “outperform” to “in-line.”

“The slowdown in membership growth and rise in membership acquisition costs in the fourth quarter may be a sign of an increasingly cautious consumer,” he wrote in a Feb. 1 note.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reports more analysts have buys (six) than holds (five). On Thursday, Steven Wieczynski, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus, upgraded his rating on Life Time to “buy.”

Patrick Kennedy