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Companhia Paranaense de Energia (ELP - Analyst Report), also known as COPEL, reported financial results for the third quarter 2013 on Nov 8, 2013. The company’s net income in the quarter decreased 14.5% year over year to R$273.0 million (US$119.7 million).

Copel’s earnings per share came in at R$1.00 or 44 cents per ADR. The results mark a decline of 25.4% over 59 cents per ADR reported in the year-ago quarter. However, the result was 3 cents above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 41 cents.

Revenues

In the third quarter 2013, Copel reported a 10.5% year over year increase in net operating revenues that came in at R$2,254.6 million (US$988.9 million).

Revenue improvement was witnessed in almost all the business categories of COPEL: Electricity sales to final customers grew 45.4% and to distributors grew 7.1%.; construction revenue rose by 99.4%; telecommunications revenues grew 16.5%; distribution of piped gas spiked 19.5%, while revenues from other sources increased 38.3%.

An exception to these was a 33.0% fall in revenues generated from use of the main distribution and transmission grid.

Expenses/Income

Copel reported a year-over-year increase of 15.7% in operating costs and expenses that totaled R$1,964.6 million (R$861.7 million) in the third quarter 2013. The increase was due primarily to higher expenses in the following categories: 13.9% rise in pension and healthcare plans, 27.2% in electricity purchased for resale, 23.6% in natural gas and supplies for the gas business and 106.2% in construction costs.

Higher costs in the above-mentioned categories were partially offset by 47.0% decline in costs related to use of main distribution and transmission grid, 17.8% in personnel and management, 14.4% in materials and supplies, 25.7% in materials and supplies for power electricity and 27.7% in provisions and reversals.

EBITDA decreased 6.1% to R$463.3 million (US$203.2 million) with an EBITDA margin of 20.5% versus 24.2% in the year-ago quarter.

Balance Sheet

Copel’s cash and cash equivalents fell 2.5% sequentially and came in at R$1,531.8 million (US$686.9 million) exiting the third quarter 2013. Loans, financing and debentures also went down sequentially to the extent of 2.4% and came in at R$2,662.5 million (US$1,193.9 million).

Cash Flow

Copel in the quarter generated roughly R$275.5 million (US$120.8 million) cash flow from operating activities, down 49.4% year over year. Capital spending on the purchase of property, plant and equipment was R$127.0 million (US$55.7 million), reflecting a 42.4% decline from the year-ago quarter.

For the year 2013, Copel plans to spend approximately R$1,922.8 million, with roughly 45.1% on Generation and Transmission, 51.3% on Distribution and 3.6% on Telecommunications.

Companhia Paranaense de Energia is a fully integrated electric utility of Brazil engaged in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity to the State of Paraná. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

However, stocks to watch out for in the industry are NRG Yield, Inc. (NYLD - Snapshot Report) and Tractebel Energia S.A. (TBLEY), both with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and Alliant Energy Corporation (LNT - Snapshot Report) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). 

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