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Macquarie downgrades NextEra Energy on potential shift to less regulated

Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc. on April 4 downgradedNextEra Energy Inc.to "neutral" from "outperform."

The brokerage lowered the stock based on its concern that thecompany could face negative credit rating implications due to its rapid growth.Speedy progress in its renewable energy business would change NextEra Energy'searnings mix to less regulated and the company might have to acquire a largeregulated utility.

"We recognize [NextEra Energy]'s strong M&A trackrecord, but given [Florida Power& Light Co.]'s large pending rate case and the exceptional performance of [NextEraEnergy]'s stock over the last five years, we prefer to move to the sidelines,"Macquarie Capital (USA) analyst Angie Storozynski said in a note to investors.

Storozynski wrote that she expects heavy scrutiny of theNextEra Energy subsidiary's rate case, one of the largest in the company'shistory, by the news media and consumer advocates.