Wisconsin Energy Corporation
) posted net operating earnings of 43 cents per share in the
fourth quarter of 2012, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
41 cents per share. However, quarterly earnings fell short of the
year-ago quarter's operating earnings of 49 cents per share
largely due to lower top line.
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Wisconsin Energy's full-year 2012 operating earnings were $2.35
per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.32 per
share. Annual earnings were higher than the year-ago level of
$2.18 per share primarily due to lower operating expenses and
favorable summer season.
Wisconsin Energy's total revenue in fourth-quarter 2012 was $1.07
billion, reflecting a dip of 3.6% from $1.11 billion in the
year-ago period primarily due to drop in electricity consumption
by large commercial and industrial customers. However, quarterly
revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.06 billion.
Wisconsin Energy's total revenue for 2012 decreased 5.3% year
over year to $4.2 billion. Annual revenue of the company was also
lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.4 billion.
Total operating expenses during the quarter decreased 9%, and
full-year 2012 costs reduced 25.1% year over year. This was due
to a decline in the cost of goods sold, lower fuel and purchased
power costs as well as reduction in other operation and
In full-year 2012, operating expenses, as a percentage of total
revenue, decreased 378 basis points year over year, boosting the
Despite a decline in full-year 2012 revenue, reduction in costs
drove 2012 operating income 12.7% to $1 billion from $0.89
billion in 2011.
Net interest expenses in 2012 were $248.2 million versus $235.8
million in 2011, up 5.3%.
Wisconsin Energy's cash and cash equivalents as of Dec 31, 2012
were $35.6 million versus $14.1 million as of Dec 31, 2011.
Long-term debt decreased to $4.5 billion as of Dec 31, 2012 from
the prior-year level of $4.6 billion.
Cash from operating activities for 2012 was $1.2 billion versus
$1 billion in 2011.
Capital expenditure during the year was $707 million, down from
$830.8 million incurred in 2011.
Wisconsin Energy has been consistently paying dividends to its
shareholders. In Dec 2012, the company announced a quarterly
dividend of 34 cents, which reflects an increase of 4 cents from
the prior quarterly rate. This increased dividend will be paid on
Mar 1, 2013, to shareholders of record as of Feb 14, 2013.
The new annualized dividend rate will be $1.36 per share,
reflecting growth of 13.3% from the previous annualized rate of
$1.20 per share.
Wisconsin Energy not only surpassed the earnings projections, but
rise in consumption of electricity by the residential, and small
commercial and industrial customers are also positive signs for
the company. In addition, the company served additional 3,200
electricity and 5,800 natural gas customers in 2012 as against
the previous year.
Moreover, we expect Wisconsin Energy's 'Power the Future' plan,
and its internal growth projects including the biomass plant in
Rothschild and the air quality control improvement activities at
the original Oak Creek units to act as positive catalysts for its
Wisconsin Energy Corporation currently has a short-term Zacks
Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Wisconsin Energy Corporation generates
and distributes electricity in Southeastern, East Central, and
Northern Wisconsin, as well as in the Upper Peninsula of
Michigan. The company also distributes natural gas. Other players
in the sector, such as
Pike Electric Corporation
Integrys Energy Group, Inc.
), all carrying Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), are yet to announce
their earnings results.