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Duke Energy (DUK) to Report Q4 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

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Duke Energy Corporation (DUK - Free Report) is set to report fourth-quarter 2020 results on Feb 11, before the opening bell. In the last reported quarter, the company delivered an earnings surprise of 4.47%.

Moreover, the bottom line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters and missed in one, the average earnings surprise being 1.49%.

Let’s see how things have shaped up prior to this announcement.

Factors to Consider

During the major part of the fourth quarter, the company’s service territories experienced predominantly cold temperatures with above-average precipitation, which is expected to have favored the utility’s quarterly top-line performance through solid electric sales volumes.

Even amid the pandemic, the company has witnessed strong customer growth across all of its jurisdictions. In the previous quarter, the company witnessed a year-over-year 1.8% increase in new electric customers and 1.9% growth in its local distribution companies (LDCs). Expecting these trends to have continued in the fourth quarter as well, management projected a 2-3% decline in total retail volumes compared with its previous estimates of a 3-5% decrease.

In line with such improvements, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter revenues is pegged at $6.22 billion, indicating a 1.9% improvement from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

Further, Duke Energy’s impressive cost mitigation initiatives can be expected to have positively impacted its fourth-quarter earnings, as it remained confident about delivering $400-$450 million of earnings benefit for the full year.

Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pegged at $1.02 per share, indicating a 12.1% improvement from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Duke Energy this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the chances of an earnings beat. But this is not the case here.

Earnings ESP: Duke Energy has an Earnings ESP of -0.49%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: The company carries a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Duke Energy Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Stocks to Consider

Here are a few stocks from the Utilities sector that are yet to release their Q4 results and possess the right combination to deliver an earnings beat.

CenterPoint Energy (CNP - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +11.11% and a Zacks Rank #3.

Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PCG - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +10.53% and a Zacks Rank #3.

AES Corp. (AES - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +0.73% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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