OGE Energy Corp .'s OGE third-quarter 2018 earnings of $1.02 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 96 cents by 6.25%. Moreover, the reported figure improved 10.9% from 92 cents registered in the year-ago quarter. Higher gross margin buoyed by warmer-than-normal weather drove the company's bottom-line performance.
OGE Energy's operating revenues of $698.8 million declined 2.5% from the prior-year quarter's $716.8 million. The downside can be attributed to year-over-year lower residential, industrial, oilfield and transmission revenues.
Total sales in the reported quarter amounted to 8.5 million megawatt-hours (MWh), up from 8.1 million MWh in the prior-year quarter. The upside was driven by higher system sales, which increased 6.7% year over year. Meanwhile, the company's customer count inched up 0.75% to 846,817.
Cost of sales summed $244.4 million compared with $255.7 million in the prior-year quarter.
Total operating expenses rose 7.1% year over year to $227.1 million on account of higher operation and maintenance expenses along with higher depreciation and amortization expenses. Operating income decreased 8.7% to $227.3 million from the year-ago quarter's $249.1 million.
Interest expenses totaled $38.7 million in the third quarter, up from $35.9 million a year ago.
OGE Energy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
OGE Energy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | OGE Energy Corporation Quote
Other Highlights of the Release
OGE Energy reported net income of $205.1 million in the third quarter, up from the prior-year quarter's approximate figure of $183.4 million.
OG&E : The segment's net income rose 13.6% year over year to $184 million in the reported quarter. The primary drivers of the increase in net income were new rates implemented in Oklahoma on Jul 1, favorable weather during the quarter compared to that in 2017, higher demand fees for non-residential customers and overall customer growth.
Natural Gas Midstream Operations : The segment posted net income of $29 million compared with $21 million in the year-ago quarter. The upside was driven by higher record volumes in the gathering and processing segments.
The company's 2018 OG&E earnings guidance is projected to be between $1.59 and $1.61 per average diluted share. This is an increase from the previously issued guidance of $1.43-$1.53 per share.
OGE Energy carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
Recent Utility Releases
American Electric Power AEP reported third-quarter 2018 operating earnings per share (EPS) of $1.25, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.23 by 1.6%.
NextEra Energy NEE reported third-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings of $2.18 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.17 by 0.46%.
DTE Energy Company DTE reported third-quarter 2018 operating earnings per share of $2.13, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.74 by 22.4%.
The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All
Last year, it generated $8 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $47 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce "the world's first trillionaires," but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.
See Zacks' 3 Best Stocks to Play This Trend >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free reportAmerican Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP): Free Stock Analysis ReportNextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE): Free Stock Analysis ReportDTE Energy Company (DTE): Free Stock Analysis ReportOGE Energy Corporation (OGE): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research