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WEC Energy's (WEC) Q4 Earnings Beat, Customer Volume Rises

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WEC Energy Group WEC delivered fourth-quarter 2020 earnings per share of 76 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 74 cents by 2.7%. However, the bottom line dipped 1.3% from the year-ago quarter’s 77 cents per share.

Revenues

Operating revenues of $1,933.4 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,995 million by 3.1%. Also, the top line slipped 0.7% from $1,947.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

WEC Energy Group, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

WEC Energy Group, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
WEC Energy Group, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

WEC Energy Group, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | WEC Energy Group, Inc. Quote

Highlights of the Release

In 2020, residential use of electricity rose 5.5% year over year. Electricity consumption by small commercial and industrial customers declined 4.8% year over year. Electricity used by large commercial and industrial customers excluding iron ore mines fell 6.5% on a year-over-year basis. On a weather adjusted basis, retail deliveries of electricity excluding the iron ore mine slid 2.9%.

Natural gas deliveries in Wisconsin excluding gas used for power generation moved down 7.9% during 2020. On a weather-normal basis, natural gas deliveries decreased 2.4%.

Total operating expenses for the fourth quarter amounted to $1,562.9 million, down 1.4% from the year-ago quarter’s $1,584.4 million.

Operating income came in at $370.5 million, increasing 2% from the prior-year period’s $363.1 million.

At the end of 2020, the company was serving additional 11,000 electric and 27,000 natural gas customers from the year-ago quarter's levels.

Financial Position

As of Dec 31, 2020, WEC Energy had cash and cash equivalents of $24.8 million compared with $37.5 million as of Dec 31, 2019.

As of Dec 31, 2020, the company had long-term debt of $11,728.1 million compared with $11,211 million on Dec 31, 2019.

The company’s net cash provided by operating activities in 2020 was $2,196 million compared with $2,345.5 million in 2019.

Capital expenditure in 2020 was $2,238.8 million compared with $2,260.8 million in 2019.

2021 Guidance

The company reaffirmed its current-year earnings per share projection in the range of $3.99-$4.03. Also, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is $4.01, which is near the upper end of the utility’s current guided range.

Zacks Rank

WEC Energy has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Utility Release

NextEra Energy, Inc. NEE reported fourth-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings of 40 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 39 cents by 2.6%.

Xcel Energy Inc. XEL posted fourth-quarter 2020 operating earnings of 54 cents per share, inline with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Upcoming Release

Duke Energy DUK is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2020 results on Feb 11. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pegged at $1.02 per share.

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