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FirstEnergy (FE) Beats Q4 Earnings Estimates, Lags Sales

FirstEnergy CorporationFE reported fourth-quarter 2017 operating earnings of 71 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 69 cents by 2.9%. Quarterly earnings improved 86.8% year over year.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported loss of $5.62 per share compared with a loss of $13.44 in the prior-year quarter due to impairments & plant exit costs for the company's competitive generation fleet and charges related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Total Revenues

FirstEnergy generated total revenues of $3,442 million in fourth-quarter 2017, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,485 million by 1.23%.

Revenues inched up 1.98% from $3,375 million in the year-ago quarter. The top line improved primarily on the back of higher regulated transmission and distribution revenues.

FirstEnergy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

FirstEnergy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | FirstEnergy Corporation Quote

Highlights of the Release

Total electric delivery increased 563 thousand megawatt-hours (MWh) year over year. Residential sales rose 3.9%, owing to heating degree days. The figure was higher by 9% from the year-ago quarter.

The year-over-year increase in distribution deliveries to industrial customers more than offset the drop in delivery volumes to commercial customers.

Financial Update

FirstEnergy's cash on hand as of Dec 31, 2017, was $589 million, up from $199 million as of Dec 31, 2016.

Long-term debt and other long-term obligations as of Dec 31 were $21,115 million compared with $18,192 million as of Dec 31, 2016.

Net cash provided from operating activities was $3,808 million, up 12.6% from $3,383 million in 2016.

Guidance

FirstEnergy issued the operating earnings guidance for 2018 in the range of $2.25-$2.55 per share. For the first quarter of 2018, earnings are estimated in the range of 60-70 cents.

FirstEnergy expects to invest $10-$12 billion in 2018 to 2021 time frame. Majority of the capital expenditure will be utilized to strengthen its regulated transmission and distribution lines.

Peer Releases

NextEra Energy NEE reported fourth-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of $1.25 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.31 by 4.6%.

Dominion Energy D reported fourth-quarter 2017 operating earnings of 91 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 88 cents by 3.4%.

Exelon EXC reported fourth-quarter 2017 operating earnings of 55 cents per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 62 cents by 11.3%.

Zacks Rank

FirstEnergy has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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