On May 22, 2013, the shares of
TECO Energy Inc.
) climbed to its 52-week high of $19.22 driven by a revival of
Florida's economy, gradual improvement in natural gas prices and
chances of recovery of the coal market.
In first quarter 2013, TECO Energy's both earnings per share and
revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimates primarily owing
to an increase in customer counts in Tampa Electric Company and
The economic trend continues to show positive movement in the
state of Florida. The employment rate and housing market are
improving gradually. The unemployment rate in Tampa Electric's
service area, Hillsborough County, is lower than the present
state and national levels.
In addition, the Tampa-St. Pete metropolitan area added
approximately 36,000 jobs in the last year. In addition, the
government issued over 4,800 single-family building permits in
Tampa Electric's service territory in the last one year.
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We believe the drop in the unemployment rate, housing market
recovery and creation of higher number of new jobs in Florida
will influence the consumers to spend more and pay the utility
bills on time. These factors will subsequently fuel TECO Energy's
To strengthen domestic operations, TECO Energy entirely
discontinued its international operations and sold its unit TECO
Guatemala for $227.5 million. The company intends to utilize a
major part of the sale-proceeds to strengthen the assets of Tampa
Electric. This initiative brings stability to TECO Energy's
operating flexibility by assuring to provide better services to
the higher number of customers.
TECO Energy currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Apart from the
company, other stocks in the industry that are worth considering
CPFL Energia S.A.
Empresa Nacional de Electricidad S.A.
) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and
) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).