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Why Is Alliant Energy (LNT) Up 6.5% Since Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Alliant Energy (LNT - Free Report) . Shares have added about 6.5% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Alliant Energy 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.

Alliant Energy Beats on Q4 Earnings, Adds Customers

Alliant Energy Corporation reported fourth-quarter 2020 operating earnings of 24 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 23 cents per share by 4.3%. However, earnings were 47.7% lower than the year-ago figure.

Total Revenues

Fourth-quarter revenues came in at $817 million, declining 7.2% year over year. The year-over-year decline was primarily due to lower contribution from its Electric and Gas utility operations.

Operational Highlights

For the fourth quarter, the company’s retail electric and gas utility customers grew 0.6% and 0.6% year over year, respectively. However, the increase in electric and gas utility customers did not result in a year-over-year rise in electric and gas sales volume. Electric volumes dropped due to a decline in sales volume to commercial and industrial group and other customer classes, while increase in sales volumes from the residential group marginally offset the decline. Gas volumes for the reported quarter dropped due to a decline in sales volume to all customer classes.

Total operating expenses were $705 million for the reported quarter, decreasing 1.9% from $719 million in the year-ago period. The reduction in expenses was due to lower electric fuel and purchased power expenses.

Operating income was $112 million, down 30.4% from $161 million in the year-ago quarter.

Interest expenses were $68 million, down 1.5% from the prior-year quarter.

Financial Update

Cash and cash equivalents were $54 million as of Dec 31, 2020, up from $16.3 million in the corresponding period of 2019.

Long-term debt (excluding current portion) was $6,769 million as of Dec 31, 2020, higher than $5,533 million in the comparable period of 2019.

For 2020, cash flow from operating activities was $501 million compared with $660 million a year ago.

Guidance

Alliant Energy reiterated its 2021 earnings guidance in the range of $2.50-$2.64 per share. The guidance assumes normal temperatures in its service territories, and takes into account the ability of Interstate Power and Light Company and Wisconsin Power and Light to earn authorized rates of return.


 

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

Analysts were quiet during the last two month period as none of them issued any earnings estimate revisions.


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