American Electric Power Q4 Profit Beats Estimates; Reaffirms Operating Earnings Guidance

(RTTNews) - Pure Play Regulated Utility American Electric Power (AEP), on Thursday, said it delivered strong fourth quarter and 2022 earnings driven by execution. Looking forward, the company reaffirmed its 2023 operating earnings guidance range of $5.19-$5.39, with midpoint of $5.29. AEP also reaffirmed 6%-7% long-term operating earnings growth rate.

Fourth-quarter earnings was $384 million or $0.75 per share, compared with GAAP earnings of $539 million or $1.07 per share in fourth-quarter 2021. Operating earnings were $540 million or $1.05 per share, compared with operating earnings of $496 million or $0.98 per share in fourth-quarter 2021. Analysts on average had expected the company to earn $0.99 per share, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Fourth quarter revenue was $4.9 billion compared to $4.1 billion, prior year. Analysts on average had estimated $3.51 billion in revenue.

The company delivered GAAP earnings of $4.51 per share or $2.31 billion for the year. Operating earnings was $5.09 per share or $2.61 billion for the period.

"We're seeing the tangible benefits of our long-term, strategic economic development program, despite global economic uncertainty and inflationary cost pressures," said Julie Sloat, AEP CEO.

The company noted that it remains committed to completing the strategic review of its retail business in the first half of the current year.

AEP stated that it will execute on 2023-2027 capital plan of $40 billion with an emphasis on wires and renewables while remaining focused on supply chain efforts. On a system average, the company expects rates to go up approximately 4% annually over the forecasted period.

American Electric and Liberty, an indirect arm of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corporation on February 13 filed a new application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or FERC, seeking approval for the sale of AEP's Kentucky operations to Liberty. Both parties have been seeking an expedited review of the application as they aim to close the transaction by April 26. Last year, FERC had denied approval of the sale.

On Wednesday, AEP signed an agreement to sell 100% of equity of 1,365 MW unregulated contracted renewable assets containing 14 large-scale projects. AEP expects the sale to result in an after-tax GAAP loss ranging from $100-$150 million in its first quarter.

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