It has been about a month since the last earnings report for National Fuel Gas (NFG - Free Report) . Shares have added about 3.6% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.
Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is National Fuel Gas due for a pullback? 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.
National Fuel Gas Beats on Q3 Earnings, Cuts EPS View
National Fuel Gas Company posted third-quarter fiscal 2020 operating earnings of 57 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 48 cents by 18.8%. However, earnings declined 19.7% from the year-ago figure of 71 cents per share.
Total revenues of $323 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $376 million by 14.1%. The top line also dropped 9.6% from the prior-year figure of $357.2 million.
Highlights of the Release
Total operating costs for the reported quarter decreased 0.7% from the year-ago level to $242.6 million, owing to lower purchased gas expenses.
It incurred interest expenses of $27.1 million, up 7.1% from the year-ago figure.
As of Jun 30, 2020, National Fuel Gas had cash and temporary cash investments of $555.3 million compared with $20.4 million on Sep 30, 2019.
Long-term debt (excluding current maturities) was $2,628.8 million as of Jun 30, 2020 compared with the Sep 30, 2019 level of $2,133.7 million.
The company’s cash flow from operating activities for the first nine months of fiscal 2020 was $623.9 million, up from $570.6 million recorded in the comparable year-ago period.
Total capital expenditure for the first nine months of fiscal 2020 was $551 million, down from $587.4 million in the comparable year-ago period.
National Fuel Gas downwardly revised its fiscal 2020 earnings guidance to the range of $2.75-$2.85 from the prior expectation of $2.75-$2.95. The mid-point of the new guidance is higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.78. The company expects fiscal 2021 earnings per share in the range of $3.40-$3.70.
National Fuel Gas reiterated its fiscal 2020 capital expenditure guidance in the range of $680-$740 million. Capital expenditure for fiscal 2021 is expected in the range of $660-$770 million.
The company lowered fiscal 2020 net production expectation to the range of 240-245 billion of cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe). Fiscal 2021 production is expected in the range of 305-335 Bcfe.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
It turns out, estimates revision flatlined during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted -12.74% due to these changes.
Currently, National Fuel Gas has a nice Growth Score of B, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the second quintile for this investment strategy.
Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.
National Fuel Gas has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.