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Energy utility, Wisconsin Energy Corporation’s (WEC - Analyst Report) fourth quarter operating earnings of 63 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8.6%. The results was also ahead of the year-ago quarter’s operating earnings of 43 cents by 46.5%.

Wisconsin Energy’s 2013 operating earnings were $2.51 per share, up 6.8% from $2.35 per share reported in 2012. The results also exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2%.  

Total Revenue

Wisconsin Energy’s total revenue in fourth-quarter 2013 was $1.17 billion, up 10% from $1.07 billion in the year-ago period. Reported quarter revenue surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.12 billion by 5%.

Wisconsin Energy’s total revenue for 2013 upped 6.4% to $4.5 billion from $4.2 billion reported in the prior year.

2013 revenue of the company was higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.4 billion by 1.7%.

Operational Update

Total operating expenses during the quarter increased by 9.8% during the fourth quarter 2012, and for 2013 cost increased by 7.4% year over year. The increase in expenses were attributable to increase in cost of good sold and Fuel and purchased power.

Operating income in the reported quarter increased 34.8% to $271.6 million and for 2013 it increased 7.9% year over year to $1,080 million.
 
Net interest expenses in 2013 were $252.1 million versus $248.2 million in 2012, up 1.6%.

Financials

Cash & cash equivalents as of Dec 31, 2013, were $26 million, lower than $35.6 million as of Dec 31, 2012.

Long-term debt as of Dec 31, 2013, were $4.36 billion, lower than $4.45 billion as of Dec 31, 2012.

Capital expenditure of the company in 2013 was $0.7 billion lower than the 2012 expenditure by 2.8%.

Other Company Release

American Electric Power Company Inc. (AEP - Analyst Report) reported fourth-quarter 2013 operating earnings of 60 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 56 cents by 7.1%.

NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE - Analyst Report) announced fourth-quarter 2013 operating earnings of 95 cents per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.

Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL - Analyst Report) reported earnings of 30 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2013, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate as well as the year-ago earnings figure by a penny.

Our Take

Wisconsin Energy not only surpassed our expectation, but was also able to increase its electric and natural gas customers from the previous year level. We expect the customer additions will help the company to better its performance from 2013 level.

Wisconsin Energy currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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