A month has gone by since the las t earnings report for Alliant Energy (LNT). Shares have added about 0.5% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.
Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Alliant Energy due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recen t earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.
Alliant Energy's Q1 Earnings In Line, Revenues Up Y/Y
Alliant Energy Corporation reported first-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 53 cents per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The reported earnings came ahead of the year-ago figure by a penny.
The year-over-year improvement in earnings was primarily due to higher contribution from Utilities and Corporate Services. Total Revenues
Total revenues in the first quarter came in at $987.3 million, increasing 7.7% year over year. Operational Highlights
Total operating expenses were $810.4 million in the reported quarter, reflecting an increase of 7.9% from $750 million in the year-ago period. This increase in expenses can be attributed to a rise in electric production fuel and purchased power, as well as an increase in cost of gas sold.
Operating income was $176.8 million, up 6.7% from $165.7 million in the year-ago quarter.
Interest expenses were $66.3 million, reflecting an increase of 11.9% from $59.2 million in the prior-year quarter.
During the first quarter, the company's retail electric and gas utility customers grew 0.3% and 0.4% year over year, respectively. The increase in customer count had a positive impact on volumes of electric and natural gas during the quarter. Financial Update
Cash and cash equivalents were $10.1 million as of Mar 31, 2019, down from $20.9 million on Dec 31, 2018.
Long-term debt (excluding current portion) was $5,362.2 million as of Mar 31, 2019, higher than $5,246.3 million on Dec 31, 2018.
In first-quarter 2019, cash flow from operating activities was $181.1 million compared with $156.3 million in the year-ago period. Guidance
Alliant Energy reiterated its 2019 consolidated earnings per share guidance in the range of $2.17-$2.31. The guidance assumes normal temperature in its service territories during the year.
For Utilities (American Transmission Company LLC and Corporate Services), earnings per share are expected within $2.14-$2.24. For ATC Holdings, the company expects earnings per share in the range of 11-13 cents. For Non-regulated and Parent, earnings are likely to have a negative impact of 6-8 cents.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
Fresh estimates followed an upward path over the past two months.
Currently, Alliant Energy has a subpar Growth Score of D, however its Momentum Score is doing a lot better with a B. However, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.
Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.
Alliant Energy has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.
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