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Eversource Energy ES reported first-quarter 2020 operating earnings of $1.02 per share, on par with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, the reported earnings improved 4.9% year over year.
First-quarter revenues of $2,374 million lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,538 million by 6.5%. Total revenues also dropped 1.7% from the year-ago figure of $2,415.8 million.
Highlights of the Release
Operating expenses decreased 4.5% year over year to $1,834.6 million, primarily owing to lower purchased power, fuel and transmission expenses.
Operating income was up 8.9% from the prior-year quarter to $539.1 million. Interest expenses increased 2.3% year over year to $134.7 million in the quarter.
Net income in the quarter under review was $334.8 million, up 8.5% from $308.7 million recorded in the year-ago period.
Eversource Energy Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Eversource Energy price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Eversource Energy Quote
Electric Distribution: Earnings from this segment were $130.1 million, up 8.3% from the prior-year quarter. The upside was primarily attributed to higher distribution revenues and lower storm restoration costs, partially offset by increased depreciation cost, and operations and maintenance (O&M) expense.
Electric Transmission: Earnings of the segment were up 7.3% year over year to $126.8 million. The upside was due to increased investment in Eversource’s transmission facilities.
Natural Gas Distribution: This segment’s earnings were up 10.3% year over year to $84.4 million, partially offset by increase in O&M and depreciation expenses.
Water Distribution: Earnings from this segment were $2.1 million, up 133.3% from $0.9 million in the year-ago quarter.
Eversource Parent & Other Companies: The segment’s loss was $5 million compared with a loss of $7 million in the year-ago quarter. The narrower loss was due to lower interest expenses.
Cash and cash equivalents were $47.4 million as of Mar 31, 2020, up from $15.4 million on Dec 31, 2019.
Long-term debt was $13,898.6 million as of Mar 31, 2020, higher than $13,770.8 million on Dec 31, 2019.
Eversource reaffirmed its 2020 earnings guidance in the range of $3.60-$3.70 per share. The midpoint of management’s 2020 EPS guidance is $3.65, which is on par with the current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.65 for the period.
The company expects long-term earnings to improve 5-7% through 2024 from the 2019 base of $3.45.
Eversource currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Xcel Energy Inc. XEL posted first-quarter 2020 operating earnings of 56 cents per share, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 59 cents by 5.1%.
FirstEnergy Corporation FE came up with first-quarter 2020 operating earnings of 66 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 64 cents by 3.1%.
Alliant Energy Corporation LNT reported first-quarter 2020 operating earnings of 72 cents per share, increasing 30.9% from the year-ago figure of 55 cents.
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