Xcel Energy Inc.XEL is slated to report fourth-quarter 2017 results before the market opens on Feb 7. In the third quarter, the company reported a positive earnings surprise of 5.43%. Let's see how things are shaping up for this earnings season.
Factors to Consider
Xcel Energy continues to invest in its utility assets to provide reliable services to its customers and effectively meet rising electricity demand. Its aim to produce more electricity from renewable sources will also yield positive results.
The company continues to focus on controlling its Operating and Maintenance (O&M) expenses. In the first nine months of 2017, operating expenses were $58 million lower than the year-ago period. However, the company expects most of the year-to-date savings to reverse in the fourth quarter, resulting in flat O&M expenses in 2017.
For the fourth quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Xcel Energy's revenues is pegged at $2,940 million, indicating 2.6% sequential decline. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is 43 cents, reflecting year-over-year decline of 4.4%.
Xcel Energy Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
Our proven model does not conclusively show that Xcel Energy is likely to beat earnings this quarter as it does not possess the key components. A stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. However, that is not the case here as you will see below.
Zacks ESP : The company's Earnings ESP is -1.43%.
You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they're reported with our Earnings ESP Filter .
Zacks Rank : Xcel Energy's Zacks Rank #3, when combined with a negative Earnings ESP makes a beat unlikely this quarter.
Note that we caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell-rated) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing a negative estimate revisions momentum.
Stocks to Consider
Here are some companies in the industry that you may want to consider instead, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.
Exelon Corporation EXC is expected to release fourth-quarter 2017 results on Feb 7. The company has an Earnings ESP of +0.88% and a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
NiSource Inc. NI has an Earnings ESP of +1.45% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is expected to release fourth-quarter 2017 results on Feb 28.
CenterPoint Energy Inc. CNP has an Earnings ESP of +3.75% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is expected to release fourth-quarter 2017 results on Feb 22.
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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.