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MDU Resources (MDU) Beats on Q1 Earnings, Tapers 2021 EPS View

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MDU Resources Group Inc. MDU reported first-quarter 2021 operating earnings of 26 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 20 cents by 30%. The same increased 100% from the year-ago level. This upside was led by a strong performance of its construction services and pipeline businesses along with increased natural gas sales volumes.

Total Revenues

Total revenues came in at $1,227.9 million, up 2.6% from $1,197.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Operating revenues in the electric, natural gas distribution and regulated pipeline improved 5.7% from the prior-year quarter to $442.4 million. Revenues in non-regulated pipeline, construction materials and contracting, construction services and other segments inched up 0.9% from the year-ago quarter to $785.5 million.

MDU Resources Group, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

MDU Resources Group, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

MDU Resources Group, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | MDU Resources Group, Inc. Quote

Highlights of the Release

For the quarter under review, operating expenses of $1,142.7 million increased 0.2% from the prior-year period’s $1,140.3 million.

Operating income was $85.2 million, up 49.2% year over year.

The company’s interest expenses of $23.4 million were down 4.9% from $24.6 million in the prior-year quarter.

As of Mar 31, 2021, the construction services business had a backlog of $1.27 billion, on par with the prior-year quarter’s number.

As of Mar 31, 2021, the construction materials business had a backlog of $819 million, down from $905 million year over year. The construction materials business acquired an aggregates operation in Portland. Also, it got permission to expand operations at a Texas aggregate quarry.

The company’s North Bakken Expansion project was expected to receive the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval in the reported quarter. Due to the delay in regulatory nods, the utility has to adjust its construction schedule, which will postpone the in-service date of the project.

Financial Highlights

Cash and cash equivalents as of Mar 31, 2021 were $55.1 million compared with $59.5 million at 2020 end.

Long-term debt amounted to $2,251.7 million as of Mar 31, 2021 compared with $2,211.6 million on Dec 31, 2020.

The company’s net cash provided by operating activities in the first quarter of 2021 was $95.6 million compared with $79.3 million in the comparable period of 2020.

Guidance

MDU Resources narrowed its 2021 earnings per share guidance to $2-$2.15 from the prior expectation of $1.95-$2.15. This estimation is based on several assumptions, of which worth mentioning are normal weather and continued addition to the electric and natural gas customers at 1-2% rate, annually. In the long term, the utility expects earnings to grow 5-8% on an annual basis.

Moreover, it reduced its investment plans to $811 million from $826 million in the ongoing year. Also, it plans to invest $3,032 million during the 2021-2025 forecast period.

Zacks Rank

MDU Resources carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other Releases

ONE Gas Inc. (OGS - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2021 earnings of $1.79 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.78 by 0.6%.

Sempra Energy’s (SRE - Free Report) first-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings per share came in at $2.95, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.77 by 6.5%.

Atmos Energy Corporation (ATO - Free Report) posted second-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings of $2.30 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.05 by 12.2%.

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