Chesapeake Utilities Beats Q4 Earnings Ests - Analyst Blog

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Chesapeake Utilities Corporation ( CPK ) reported fourth-quarter 2013 operating earnings of $1.00 per share, 3.1% above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 97 cents. However, earnings fell nearly 2.0% from the year-ago figure.

Yearly earnings of $3.39 per share were up 13.4% from $2.99 reported in 2012 due to due to positive synergies from acquisitions and extended services to residential as well as commercial & industrial customers. However, it failed to meet the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.43.

Total Revenue

Chesapeake Utilities reported total revenue of $122.9 million at the end of the fourth quarter, a beat of 19.3% from the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $103.0 million. Also, revenues were 12.2% higher than the year-ago figure. The year-over-year rise was primarily due to a better performance at its Regulated Energy segment.

Revenues for 2013 stood at $444.3 million, up 13.2% from $392.5 million reported in 2012.

Operational Highlights

For the quarter under review, total operating expenses were $104.6 million, up nearly 15.0% from $91.0 million incurred in the year-ago period.

Operating income was $18.3 million, down slightly from $18.5 million in the year-ago quarter due to higher cost related to sales and operations.

Interest expenses increased a marginal 1.4% to $2.1 million in the fourth quarter 2013, primarily due to a rise in debt levels.

Financial Highlights

Cash and cash equivalents as of Dec 31, 2013, were $3.356 million versus $3.361 million as of Dec 31, 2012.

Net property, plant & equipment at the end of Dec 31, 2013, were worth $631.2 million as against $541.8 million as of Dec 31, 2012.

Long-term debt (excluding current portion) was $117.6 million as of Dec 31, 2013, compared with $101.9 million as of Dec 31, 2012.

Segmental Update

Regulated Energy: This segment recorded an operating income of $50.1 million in 2013, registering an increase of $3.1 million from 2012. The positive performance can be attributed to expansion of natural gas services and acquisition of Eastern Shore Gas Company and its affiliates.

Unregulated Energy: Operating income earned from unregulated entity in 2013 stood at $12.4 million, a 47.9% increase from the year-ago period. The upswing came on the back of reduction in average cost of propane inventory and an increase in propane supply in Delmarva Peninsula.

Other: This segment consisting primarily of Chesapeake's subsidiary, BravePoint, reported an operating income of $0.30 million in 2013, compared with $1.3 million in 2012. Income declined due to higher payroll and related costs.

Other Company Releases

AGL Resources Inc. ( GAS ) announced fourth-quarter earnings per share of 68 cents, failing to meet the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 91 cents.

Questar Corporation ( STR ) reported adjusted earnings per share of 39 cents for the fourth quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents.

Sempra Energy 's ( SRE ) adjusted fourth-quarter 2013 earnings per share came in at $1.13, above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 98 cents by 15.3%.

Chesapeake Utilities currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).



CHESAPEAKE UTIL (CPK): Free Stock Analysis Report

AGL RESOURCES (GAS): Free Stock Analysis Report

SEMPRA ENERGY (SRE): Free Stock Analysis Report

QUESTAR (STR): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Business , Earnings , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: CPK , GAS , SRE , STR

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