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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Alliant Energy (LNT). Shares have lost about 5.4% 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 Q3 Earnings Top Estimates, 2020 View Up
Alliant Energy Corporation reported third-quarter 2020 operating earnings of 94 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 89 cents per share by 5.6%. Earnings were on par with the year-ago figure.
Third-quarter revenues came in at $920 million, declining 7.07% year over year. The year-over-year decline was primarily due to lower contribution from its Electric operations.
During the third quarter, the company’s retail electric and gas utility customers grew 0.7% and 1.1% year over year, respectively. The increase in gas utility customers is accompanied with a year-over-year gas volume increase of 0.6%. However, electric volumes dropped 7.4% year over year despite an increase in customer count. Lower electric sales to commercial and industrial customers resulted in a year-over-year decline in electric sales volume.
Total operating expenses were $648 million for the reported quarter, decreasing 7.4% from $700 million in the year-ago period. The reduction in expenses was due to lower electric fuel and purchased power expenses, along with a decline in other operating and maintenance costs.
Operating income was $272 million, down 6.2% from $290 million in the year-ago quarter.
Interest expenses were $68 million, on par with the prior-year quarter.
Cash and cash equivalents were $189 million as of Sep 30, 2020, up from $16.3 million on Dec 31, 2019.
Long-term debt (excluding current portion) was $6,574 million as of Sep 30, 2020, higher than $5,533 million on Dec 31, 2019.
For the first nine months of 2020, cash flow from operating activities was $436 million compared with $509 million in the comparable year-ago period.
Alliant Energy revised its 2020 earnings guidance to the range of $2.40-$2.46 from the earlier projection of $2.34-$2.48 per share. The new guidance takes into account higher earnings from temperature impacts on retail electric and gas sales during the first nine months of 2020.
The company initiated its 2021 earnings guidance in the range of $2.50-$2.64 per share.
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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