Energy services holding company
AGL Resources Inc.
) reported strong third-quarter 2013 results on the back of
better performances from Distribution Operations and Wholesale
Services business units.
AGL Resources - which became the largest domestic natural
gas-only distribution entity with about 4.5 million customers
across seven states following the Dec 2011 acquisition of
Naperville, IL-based Nicor Inc. - announced earnings per share of
24 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 14
Moreover, AGL Resources' earnings per share rose by whopping
166.7% from profit of 9 cents per share (excluding merger related
expenses) in the third quarter of the previous year.
Total operating revenues, came in at $675.0 million, outpacing
the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $618.0 million and the year-ago
figure of $614.0 million.
The segment, comprising seven utilities, reported earnings before
interest and taxes (EBIT) of $86.0 million, up from $80.0 million
in the third quarter of 2012. The results were aided by increased
usage and more customers.
Comprising SouthStar Energy Services, Nicor Services, Nicor
Solutions and Nicor Advanced Energy, this segment achieved an
EBIT of $8.0 million, up from the year- ago profit of $5.0
million. New contracts of retail services along with favorable
weather in Georgia supported the results.
The unit, which includes Sequent Energy Management, reported a
loss of $2.0 million, significantly narrower than a loss of $23.0
million in the prior-year quarter. Better commercial activities
aided the result.
This segment reported a loss of $1.0 million, against $1.0
million profit in the year-ago quarter. The results were hurt by
increased operating cost.
This segment generated a profit of $2.0 million in the reported
quarter as against a loss of $1.0 million in the year-earlier
period. Shipping of increased capacity along with reduced
depreciation and amortization costs favored the results.
AGL Resources' management raised its 2013 earnings guidance to
$2.55 - $2.65 per share (excluding wholesale services) from $2.40
AGL Resources currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),
implying that it is expected to significantly outperform the
broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.
Apart from AGL Resources, one can look at natural gas
distribution utilities like
Piedmont Natural Gas Co Inc
New Jersey Resources Corp.
) that offer value and are worth buying now. All the stocks sport
a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
AGL RESOURCES (GAS): Free Stock Analysis
NJ RESOURCES (NJR): Free Stock Analysis
PIEDMONT NAT GA (PNY): Free Stock Analysis
QUESTAR (STR): Free Stock Analysis Report
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