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Duke Energy's (DUK) Q1 Earnings Beat, Revenues Rise Y/Y

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Duke Energy Corporation (DUK - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of $1.26 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.24 by 1.6%. The bottom line also improved 10.5% year over year, driven by growth in Electric Utilities and Infrastructure from rate case contributions. The adjusted earnings growth also benefited from prior-year unfavorable weather.

Including one-time adjustments, the company reported GAAP earnings of $1.25 per share compared with the year-ago quarter’s GAAP earnings of $1.24.

Total Revenues

Total operating revenues came in at $6,150 million, which improved 3.4% from $5,949 million a year ago. The reported figure however missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6,208 million by 0.9%.

Duke Energy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Duke Energy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Duke Energy Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Duke Energy Corporation Quote

The Regulated electric unit’s revenues were $5,219 million (up 1.9% year over year), representing 84.9% of total revenues in the quarter.

Revenues from the regulated natural gas business totaled $749 million, down 10.6% year over year.

The Non-regulated Electric and Other segment generated revenues of $182 million, which dropped 2.7% year over year.

Operational Update

Duke Energy’s total operating expenses amounted to $4,700 million in the reported quarter, up 5.3% year over year. The escalation was on account of higher cost of natural gas; operation, maintenance and other expenses as well as increased depreciation and amortization.

Operating income dropped 2.6% to $1,450 million from $1,488 million in the year-ago quarter.

Interest expenses fell to $535 million from $551 million in first-quarter 2020.

Segmental Highlights

Electric Utilities & Infrastructure: This segment’s income in the first quarter totaled $820 million, higher than $705 million reported in the year-ago quarter.

Gas Utilities & Infrastructure: Reported income in this segment totaled $245 million, down from $249 million a year ago.

Commercial Renewables: This segment witnessed reported income of $27 million in the quarter under review compared with $57 million in the year-ago quarter.

Other: The segment includes corporate interest expenses not allocated to other business units, resulting from Duke Energy’s captive insurance company and other investments.

This segment incurred loss of $139 million compared with loss of $112 million in the year-ago quarter.

Financial Condition

As of Mar 31, 2021, Duke Energy had cash & cash equivalents of $379 million, up from $259 million as of Dec 31, 2020. Long-term debt was $54.78 billion at the end of first-quarter 2021 compared with $55.63 billion at 2020-end.

In the first quarter of 2021, the company generated net cash from operating activities of $2.09 billion compared with $1.55 billion generated in the prior-year quarter.

Guidance

Duke Energy has reaffirmed its 2021 adjusted EPS guidance. The company still expects adjusted earnings per share in the range of $5.00-$5.30. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 earnings is pegged at $5.17 per share, above the midpoint of the company’s projected range.

Zacks Rank

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

Recent Utility Releases

DTE Energy Company (DTE - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2021 operating earnings per share (EPS) of $2.44, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.16 by 13%.

American Electric Power Co., Inc. (AEP - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings per share of $1.15, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.23 by 6.5%.

NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of 67 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 60 cents by 11.7%.

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