) posted fourth quarter 2013 earnings from continuing operations
of 19 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 12
cents by 58.3%. The quarterly earnings were substantially higher
than the year-ago earnings of 5 cents by 116.7%.
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The year-over-year growth was due to increased rates for Missouri
electric and Illinois transmission service. In addition, colder
winter temperature resulted in greater demand for electric and
gas, which also boosted the bottom-line.
2013 earnings came in at $2.10, which is at the upper end of the
earnings guidance of $2.00 to $2.10 per share. The earnings
surpassed the Zacks Consensus estimate of $2.07 by 1.5%.
However, the earnings were lower than the year-ago earnings of
$2.13 by 1.4%. The year-over-year decline was primarily due to
nuclear refueling outage expenses and milder summer which lowered
the demand for electricity.
Ameren's total operating revenue in the reported quarter was up
5.1% year over year to $1.32 billion. Reported revenue also
surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.15 billion by 14.8%.
The year-over-year improvement was due to better electric and
natural gas revenue. Electric revenue increased 5.2% while gas
revenue increased 4.7%.
Full-year 2013 revenues came in at $5.83 billion, exceeding
year-ago revenues of $5.78 billion by 0.9% but missing the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $5.86 billion marginally by 0.5%.
Highlights of the Release
Ameren's total electricity sales in the reported quarter edged up
marginally to 19,716 million kilowatt hours from 19,156 million
kilowatt hours in the prior year quarter. Similarly gas volumes
also increased to 62,402 thousand decatherms from 53,335 thousand
decatherms in the prior-year quarter.
The total operating expenses in fourth quarter were $1.15
billion, increasing marginally from the prior-year period.
Interest expenses were $109 million versus $97 million in the
Ameren Missouri Segment
: Segmental earnings were $395 million in 2013, down from $416
million earned in the year-ago period. The decrease mainly
reflects 2013 Callaway refueling outage expenses.
Ameren Illinois Segment
: Segmental earnings stood at $160.0 million in 2013 versus
$141.0 million in 2012, backed by higher Illinois electric
Parent Company and Other
: The segment incurred a loss of $43 million from continuing
operations in 2013, compared with loss of $41 million in 2012.
Ameren reported cash and cash equivalents of $30.0 million at
2013 end, compared with $184.0 million at 2012 end.
Long-term debt as of Dec 31, 2013 was $5.5 billion versus $5.8
billion as of Dec 31, 2012.
Cash generated from operating activities by Ameren in 2013 were
$1.69 billion in-line with the year-ago level.
Capital expenditure in 2013 was $1.38 billion versus $1.06
billion in the year ago level. Free cash flow in 2013 was $314
million versus $627 million in 2012.
Ameren expects its 2014 earnings to be in a range of $2.25 to
$2.45 per share.
Ameren expects positive returns from its infrastructure
investments in FERC-regulated transmission and Illinois energy
delivery services will help its earnings to grow at a 7% to 10%
compound annual rate through 2018 using 2013 results as the base.
Other Company Release
American Electric Power Company Inc
) reported fourth-quarter 2013 operating earnings of 60 cents per
share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7.1%.
Dominion Resources, Inc.
) reported fourth-quarter 2013 operating earnings of 80 cents per
share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.1%.
Duke Energy Corp
) reported adjusted fourth quarter 2013 earnings of $1.00 per
share that came in ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 94
cents by 6.4%
Ameren presently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).