On May 28, Zacks Investment Research upgraded energy holding
) to Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
The operating environment and growth prospects seem bright for
SCANA, as reflected by rising earnings estimates for this leading
Columbia, SC-based company. Over the last 60 days, the Zacks
Consensus Estimate for the second quarter of 2013 has increased
20.45% to 53 cents per share.
The momentum has been strong since SCANA released its first
quarter earnings results on Apr 25. Earnings per share came in at
$1.11, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.03 and
prior-year quarter's 91 cents. This outperformance was driven by
improved electric margins stemming from customer growth and rate
With respect to the earnings trend, SCANA delivered positive
earnings surprises in three of the last 4 quarters with an
average beat of 6.74%. Moreover, SCANA has been retaining
shareholders' confidence by returning wealth via dividend hikes.
In Feb, it increased its quarterly common stock dividend by 2.5%
to 50.75 cents per share ($2.03 per share annualized).
Additionally, SCANA is well positioned in a positive regulatory
environment, having a low risk business with outstanding customer
growth and operational efficiency. These, in turn, are favorable
for stable cash flow generation and growth. Another positive for
shareholders is SCANA's utility business mix. The majority of the
company's total earnings come from the regulated electricity and
natural gas utilities business.
Other Stocks to Consider
There are certain other electric utility stocks that are also
performing well and are worth considering. These include
Companhia Paranaense de Energia
CPFL Energia S.A.
) with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) as well as
) with Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
ALLETE INC (ALE): Free Stock Analysis Report
CPFL ENERGI-ADR (CPL): Get Free Report
COPEL-ADR PR B (ELP): Free Stock Analysis
SCANA CORP (SCG): Free Stock Analysis Report
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