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PG&E Corporation’s (PCG - Analyst Report) adjusted operating earnings per share of 63 cents in the first quarter of 2013 fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 70 cents. The reported figure also came in below the year-ago number of 89 cents by 29.2%. Lower regulated return on equity and debt as compared to last year was the main factor behind the shortfall.

On a reported basis, the company clocked earnings per share of 55 cents compared with earnings of 56 cents in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue Update

PG&E’s top line increased to $3,672.0 million in the quarter from $3,641.0 million in the year-ago period but missed our expectation of $3,767.0 million. Electric revenue generated $2,799.0 million in the quarter (up almost 1% year over year), while Natural Gas clocked $873.0 million (up 0.5%).

Expenses

On the cost front, total operating expenses stood at $3,170.0 million in the quarter, up from the year-earlier level of $3,154.0 million.

Guidance

PG&E affirmed its full year 2013 operating earnings guidance range of $2.55–$2.75 per share.

Zacks Rank

The company retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). In the near term, we would advise investors to focus on its Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) peers Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. (BIP - Snapshot Report) and Empresa Nacional de Electricidad S.A. (EOC - Snapshot Report).

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