) reported third-quarter 2013 earnings of 4 cents per share,
surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of a penny.
Quarterly earnings jumped 33.3% year over year, on the heels of
an improvement in both natural gas and electricity sales margins.
The positives were partially offset by increased utility
AMER ELEC PWR (AEP): Free Stock Analysis
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UNS ENERGY CORP (UNS): Free Stock Analysis
UNITIL CORP (UTL): Free Stock Analysis Report
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In the quarter under review, Unitil Corporation posted total
operating revenues of $72.5 million, missing the Zacks Consensus
Estimate by $0.5 million. Quarterly revenues climbed 1.7% year
over year due to a 5.3% rise in the company's
segment sales. This was partially offset by a 6.9% year-over-year
drop in the company's
segment revenues. Unitil Corporation's
segment reported flat revenues year over year.
Total operating expenses edged up 1.1% to $67 million from the
year-ago figure of $66.3 million. A rise in expenses was
primarily due to an increase in depreciation expenses, costs of
purchased electricity and operation and maintenance expenses.
Despite the marginal rise in expenses, the company's operating
margin rose to 7.6% from 7% in the year-ago quarter on the back
of higher revenues.
Total electricity sales volume edged down 0.7% year over year to
465.8 million kilowatt-hours due to a decline in residential
Total gas sales volume increased 2.5% to 24.4 million therm from
23.8 million therm a year ago. The improvement in sales was
primarily driven by a rise in commercial/industrial gas sales and
a rise in the customer count.
Unitil Corporation's cash and cash equivalents as of Sep 30, 2013
were $12.3 million versus $9.5 million as of Sep 30, 2012.
Long-term debt (less current portion) as of Sep 30, 2013 was
$286.9 million compared with $287.5 million as of Sep 30, 2012.
During the first nine months of 2013, cash provided by operating
activities was $84.1 million versus $61.9 million in the year-ago
The company invested $64.6 million, during the first nine months
of 2013, under its capital spending program.
During the earnings call, the board of directors of Unitil
Corporation announced that the company will pay a regular
quarterly dividend of 34.5 cents per share on the company's
common stock. On an annualized basis, the rate of dividend stands
at $1.38 per share.
American Electric Power Company Inc.
) reported third-quarter operating earnings of $1.10 per share,
beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.08 by 1.9%.
Unitil Corporation currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However,
other stocks from the industry that are presently performing well
NRG Yield, Inc.
UNS Energy Corp.
), each with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).