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American Electric (AEP) to Post Q2 Earnings: What's in Store?

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American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP - Free Report) is set to release second-quarter 2021 results on Jul 22, before market open. In the last reported quarter, the company delivered a negative earnings surprise of 6.50%.

However, in the trailing four quarters, American Electric delivered an earnings surprise of 1.55%, on average.

Let's take a closer look at the factors that are likely to influence the company’s upcoming quarterly results.  

Factors at Play

During the first two months of second-quarter 2021, majority of the company's service territories witnessed colder-than-normal temperature, while in the latter part of the quarter its customers witnessed record wet temperature. This must have cumulatively boosted electricity demand among American Electric’s customers and, in turn, promoted top-line growth in the soon-to-be-reported quarter.

Also, the impact of favorable rate changes across multiple jurisdictions and higher transmission revenues are expected to have contributed favorably to its quarterly revenues. Meanwhile, as the economy has started to recover slowly in recent times from the severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, a slight improvement from commercial and industrial sales is expected to have added impetus to the company’s top line in the soon-to-be-reported quarter.

However, American Electric’s service regions, particularly the states of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas experienced severe weather patterns during some time of the second quarter, accompanied with heavy rainfall, strong winds and hail storms, along with flash floods. This might have caused outage for some of its customers, which might have had an adverse impact on its second-quarter results.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for American Electric’s second-quarter revenues is pegged at $4.13 billion, indicating a rise of 9.5% from the year-ago reported figure.

The aforementioned adverse weather conditions might have damaged the company’s electric poles and infrastructure, thereby pushing up American Electric’s quarterly expenses. This in turn is  expected to have weighed on its bottom-line performance.

On a brighter note, as the company continues to focus on its operational efficiency gains, we remain optimistic about the company’s overall earnings growth expectations.

Moreover, recent improvement in commercial and industrial loads driven by a recovering economy might have also contributed favorably to its overall earnings performance.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s second-quarter earnings is pegged at $1.13 per share, suggesting a 4.6% improvement from the year-ago reported figure.

What the Zacks Model Unveils

Our proven model predicts an earnings beat for American Electric this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat.

Earnings ESP: American Electric has an Earnings ESP of +1.33%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

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

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are a handful of stocks from the Utilities sector that also possess the right combination to deliver an earnings beat this time around.

CenterPoint Energy (CNP - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +1.05% and holds a Zacks Rank #3.

Entergy (ETR - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +0.88% and carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Sempra Energy (SRE - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +2.05% and carries a Zacks Rank #3.