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Alliant Energy (LNT) Down 0.1% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

Zacks Equity Research

It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Alliant Energy (LNT). Shares have lost about 0.1% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Alliant Energy due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Alliant Energy (LNT) Q2 Earnings Improve Y/Y, Sales Decline

Alliant Energy Corporation reported second-quarter 2020 operating earnings of 54 cents, which increased 35% from the year-ago figure of 40 cents per share.

The year-over-year growth in earnings was attributed to increasing rate base at Power and Light Company (IPL), as well as Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), along with favorable temperature, which in turn increased the demand for electricity.

Total Revenues

Total first-quarter revenues came in at $763.1 million, declining 3.4% year over year. The year-over-year decline was due to lower contribution from its Electric and Natural gas operations.

Operational Highlights

During the second quarter, the company’s retail electric and gas utility customers grew 0.8% and 0.9% year over year, respectively. The increase in its customer count had a positive impact on electric and natural gas volumes sold, which improved 0.2% and 15.6% year over year, respectively.

Total operating expenses were $595 million for the reported quarter, decreasing 7% from $640.4 million in the year-ago period. The reduction in expenses was due to lower Electric transmission service expenses, and decline in other operating and maintenance costs.

Operating income was $168.1 million, up 12.2% from $149.8 million in the year-ago quarter.

Interest expenses were $69.6 million, increasing 0.6% from $69.1 million in the prior-year quarter.

Financial Update

Cash and cash equivalents were $208.1 million as of Jun 30, 2020, up from $16.3 million on Dec 31, 2019.

Long-term debt (excluding current portion) was $6,572.4 million as of Jun 30, 2020, higher than $5,533 million on Dec 31, 2019.

In the first six months of 2020, cash flow from operating activities was $319.7 million compared with $276.9 million in the comparable year-ago period.

Guidance

Alliant Energy reiterated its 2020 earnings guidance in the range of $2.34-$2.48 per share. The guidance takes into account normal temperature in its service territories, gradual improvement in sales through the remainder of 2020 and proper execution of cost-control measures.

 

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

Analysts were quiet during the last two month period as none of them issued any earnings estimate revisions.


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