Just Energy Group Inc.JE reported adjusted earnings of 14 cents per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2018, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate earnings of 4 cents. Reported earnings were also significantly higher than the prior-year quarter loss of 4 cents per share.
Just Energy reported sales of $630 million (C$847.7 million) for the first quarter of fiscal 2018, a decrease of 9.6% from sales of $697 million (C$898.4 million) in the prior year. Further the company missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $701 million by 11.3%.
This year over year drop in revenues reflects 7% decrease in both customer base and lower commodity market prices.
Highlights of the Release
Administrative expenses increased 8.7% from C$44.7 million to C$48.6 million ($36.4 million) as a result of higher costs required to support customer growth in the U.K., international expansion and efforts relating to new strategic initiatives.
Gross margin contracted 3.1% to C$157.6 million (US$118.1 million) from C$162.7 million prior-comparable quarter primarily driven by the decline in the customer base, partially offset by a positive impact of C$3.6 million from foreign exchange.
Base EBITDA fell 21% to C$32.5 million (US$24.3 million) from the year-ago tally of C$41.1 million due to the impact of foreign exchange, primarily from the strengthening U.S. dollar.
Just Energy Group, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Cash and short-term investments were $62.4 million (C$81.0 million) as of Jun 30, 2017, a decrease of 3% from $162.7 million (C$83.6 million) as of Mar 31, 2017.The decrease in cash is primarily attributable to cash is primarily attributable to the lower gross margin earned in the current period.
Long-term debt of $400.9 million (C$520.6 million) as of Jun 30, 2017, increased 7.22% from $373.9 million (C$498.1 million) as of March 31, 2017. This increase is a result of the withdrawal of additional credit facility.
Just Energy reaffirmed its fiscal 2018 EBITDA guidance of C$210-$220 million.
Performance of Peers
Among other players from the same industry that have reported second-quarter earnings so far, estimates of ONE Gas, Inc. OGS and Sempra Energy SRE were in line with Zacks Consensus Estimate, while that of New Jersey Resources Corp. NJR missed its Zacks Consensus Estimate.
Just Energy Group carries 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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