Ameren Corporation’s ( AEE Quick Quote AEE - Free Report) second-quarter 2020 earnings of 98 cents per share from continuing operations beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 95 cents by 3.2%. The bottom line also improved 36.1% from the year-ago quarter’s 72 cents. Total Revenues
Total revenues came in at $1,398 million in the reported quarter, increasing 1.4% year over year driven by higher electric sales volumes. The top line however lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,479 million by 5.5%.
Ameren’s total electricity sales volume increased 3.8% to 16,967 million kilowatt hours (kWh) compared with 16,339 million kWh in the year-ago quarter. However, gas volumes remained flat at 161 million dekatherms.
Total operating expenses were $1,044 million, down 5% year over year. Interest expenses were $108 million compared with $97 million a year ago.
The company’s operating income increased 26.4% to $354 million from $280 million in the year-ago quarter. Segment Results Ameren Missouri segment reported operating earnings of $152 million for the second quarter compared with $107 million in the year-ago quarter. The upside can be attributed to lower operations and maintenance expenses as well as disciplined cost management and changes in the cash surrender value of company-owned life insurance driven by favorable market returns. Also, new electric service rates and the positive impact on electric sales from near-normal temperatures boosted earnings. Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution segment reported operating income of $36 million compared with $37 million in the year-ago quarter, owing to a lower allowed return on equity. Ameren Illinois Natural Gas segment reported operating income of $9 million compared with $1 million in the year-ago quarter. The upside was driven by increased earnings on infrastructure investments and lower other operations and maintenance expenses. Ameren Transmission segment reported operating income of $59 million in the second quarter compared with $42 million in the year-ago quarter, led by increased earnings on infrastructure investments and lower other operations and maintenance expenses. Financial Condition
The company reported cash and cash equivalents of $8 million as of Jun 30, 2020, compared with $16 million at 2019-end.
As of Jun 30, 2020, long-term debt totaled $10,171 million compared with $8,915 million as of Dec 31, 2019. At the end of second-quarter 2020, cash from operating activities amounted to $694 million compared with $879 million at the second quarter of 2019 end. Guidance
Ameren reaffirmed its 2020 guidance. The company still expects earnings of $3.40-$3.60 per share, which is projected to grow at a 6-8% compound annual rate from 2020 through 2024. Currently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2020 earnings is pegged at $3.46 per share, lower than the midpoint of its guided range.
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