NextEra Energy Hits a 52-Week High - Analyst Blog

By Zacks Equity Research,

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On April 9, 2014, shares of NextEra Energy, Inc. ( NEE ) reached a new 52-week high of $97.31. Shares gained almost 25.9% in the past one-year period. The average volume of shares traded over the last three months came in at 2,080,280.

NextEra Energy's 2013 operating earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.4%. Operating earnings also increased 8.7% year over year. The uptrend was driven by the company's effective execution of development projects, continual customer additions and service start-up of contracted renewable projects.

For 2014, the company expects operating earnings in the range of $5.05 to $5.45 per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 is pegged at $5.31 per share, showing a year-over-year estimated improvement of 6.9%.

NextEra Energy is a premier U.S. utility service provider offering efficient power and energy services across various states. The company has a strong backlog of solar and wind contracted projects. NextEra presently has a backlog of nearly 785 Megawatt (MW) of solar projects in the U.S. and a backlog of 466 MW of wind projects in Canada. This will help the company to meet its target of compounded annual earnings growth rate of 5% to 7% through 2016.

A strengthening Florida economy plus some cost efficient projects will act as tailwinds for the company in the future. The recent agreement to purchase the 250 MW Silver State South Project from First Solar Inc. ( FSLR ) will help in expanding the company's already premier renewable asset base. With wind and solar generation becoming more cost effective, the share of green energy in electricity generation is expected to rise significantly in the future.

Cash flow from operating activities for this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company in 2013 was $5.09 billion, up 27.7% from the year-ago level. Free cash flow in 2013 was $2.41 billion, which will enable the company to distribute regular dividends. Recently, the company increased its quarterly dividend by 9.8% to 72.5 cents per share from 66 cents per share earlier.

Other better-ranked stocks in this sector include NRG Energy, Inc. ( NRG ) and Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. ( PEG ). Both these stocks hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

FIRST SOLAR INC (FSLR): Free Stock Analysis Report

NEXTERA ENERGY (NEE): Free Stock Analysis Report

NRG ENERGY INC (NRG): Free Stock Analysis Report

PUBLIC SV ENTRP (PEG): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

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

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
Referenced Stocks: FSLR , NEE , NRG , PEG

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