On Apr 8, 2013, the shares of diversified utility company Wisconsin Energy Corporation (WEC) jumped to a new 52-week high of $43.20 propelled by the company’s emphasis on development of its generation assets. Wisconsin Energy has maintained a solid track record of posting consistent earnings surprise in the past four quarters bringing the average surprise to 9.93%.
Several factors like new customer connections, favorable rate case outcomes and effective cost control initiatives have driven the company’s stock to a new high. The steady increase in natural gas prices also provided an impetus to Wisconsin Energy’s growth trajectory.
Its focus on diversifying its operational portfolio by increasing its renewable generation ensured the company of a stable revenue position. Moreover, an attractive dividend offering has helped retain investors’ confidence in the stock.
Going forward, the long-term “Power the Future” program is expected to steer Wisconsin Energy along the development path. In 2013, its large-scale biomass plant in Rothschild will be a major growth driver.
The company’s strong operating cash flow will allow Wisconsin to engage in lucrative investment prospects in the near term. Wisconsin Energy’s efficient tackling of its debt level will also prove to be beneficial for maintaining a healthy balance sheet.
The expected earnings growth for the company is set at an estimated 5.53%. Presently, Wisconsin Energy carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
However, other utility stocks currently performing well are Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. (BIP), Pike Electric Corp. (PIKE) and Empresa Nacional Electricidad SA (EOC).
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