On Apr 22, 2013, the shares of Wisconsin Energy Corporation (WEC) climbed to a 52-week high of $43.78 primarily driven by the successful completion of its ‘Power the Future’ (PTF) plan, steady progress on its biomass plant in Rothschild and new customer connections. The company has maintained a solid track record of posting consistent earnings surprise in the past four quarters bringing the average surprise to 9.93%.
Wisconsin Energy completed its 10-year PTF plan. Under the program, the company spent $3 billion to construct 2,320 megawatts generating capacity, and upgrade the existing generation and distribution assets. This initiative will enable Wisconsin Energy to meet the increase in energy demand coming from added customer connections.
At present, Wisconsin Energy is concentrating on the construction of a biomass fuel generating plant in Rothschild. The company is sticking to its 2015 deadline of increasing electricity delivered from renewable sources to 20% from 5% in 2010. Wisconsin Energy’s focus on diversifying its operational portfolio by increasing its renewable generation brought stability to its financial position.
The company’s strong operating cash flow will help it to participate in lucrative investment prospects in the near term. The company’s efficient tackling of debt level will also prove to be beneficial for maintaining a healthy balance sheet.
The expected earnings growth for Wisconsin Energy is estimated at 5.53%. Currently, the company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Besides Wisconsin Energy Corporation, other stocks in the utility sector that are currently performing well include Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. (BIP), Empresa Nacional Electricidad SA (EOC) and Pike Electric Corporation (PIKE). All these stocks presently carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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