Diversified energy company, FirstEnergy Corporation FE announced fourth-quarter 2016 operating earnings of 38 cents per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 39 cents by 2.6%.Quarterly earnings were down 34.5% year over year.
On a GAAP basis, FirstEnergy reported aloss of $13.44 per share, much wider than the prior-year loss of 53 cents.
The variance between GAAP and operating earnings figure was due to actuarial assumptions of 21 cents, other charges of 3 cents, regulatory charges of 1 cent, merger accounting related costs of a penny, asset impairment charges of $13.54, debt redemption costs of 1 cent and trust securities impairment cost of 1 cent.
Full-year 2016 operating earnings came in at $2.63, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.66 by 1.1%. Yearly earnings fell 3% year over year.
Full-year GAAP loss stood at $14.49 per share, compared to earnings of $1.37 in 2015.
FirstEnergy generated total revenue of $3,375 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,533 million by 4.5%. Reported revenues were also down 4.7% from $3,541 million reported a year ago.The top line declined due to lower revenues from Competitive Energy Services.
Full-year 2016 revenues came in at $14,562 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $15,030 million by 3.1%. Yearly revenues fell 3.1% year over year.
Highlights of the Release
Total electric sales increased by 1,501 thousand megawatt-hours (MWh), or 4.4% year over year. Residential sales were up by 950 thousand MWh (8.1%), while commercial sales grew 341 thousand MWh (3.4%). Industrial sales improved by 215 thousand MWh (1.8%) primarily on account of higher usage in the shale, gas and coal sectors.
For the fourth quarter, FirstEnergy incurred operating expenses of $3,081 million, down 6.3% from $3,289 million a year ago primarily due to lower fuel and purchased power.
Operating income in the reported quarter stood at $294 million, up from $252 million in the prior-year quarter.
FirstEnergy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
FirstEnergy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | FirstEnergy Corporation Quote
FirstEnergy's cash on hand as of Dec 31, 2016 was $199 million, up from $131 million as of Dec 31, 2015.
Cash from operating activities in the fourth quarter was $791 million, compared with $1,130 million a year ago.
Long-term debt and other long-term obligations as of Dec 31, 2016 were $18,192 million, compared with $19,099 million as of Dec 31, 2015.
FirstEnergy has provided its operating earnings guidance for first quarter 2017 and full year in the range of 65 cents–75 cents and $2.70–$3.00, respectively.
Other Utility Releases
American Electric Power Co., Inc. AEP reported fourth-quarter 2016 operating earnings of 67 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 55 cents by 21.8%.
NextEra Energy, Inc. NEE reported fourth-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings of $1.21 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.29 by 6.2%. Reported earnings were, however, up 3.4% year over year.
WEC Energy Group WEC reported fourth-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings of 61 cents per share, a penny lower than both the Zacks Consensus Estimate and the year-ago figure of 62 cents.
FirstEnergy currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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