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Essential (WTRG) to Post Q4 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

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Essential Utilities Inc. (WTRG - Free Report) is scheduled to release fourth-quarter 2021 results on Feb 23 after market close. Essential Utilities witnessed a negative earnings surprise of 13.6% in the last reported quarter.

Let’s see how things have shaped up before the upcoming earnings announcement.

Factors to Consider

Essential Utilities’ fourth-quarter earnings are expected to have benefited from new water and gas rates that were implemented in its service territories. Additional demand for WTRG’s services coming from an expanding customer base through organic means and acquisitions is expected to have boosted the fourth quarter’s performance.

In the fourth quarter, Essential Utilities is likely to have benefited from strong demand from commercial customers, offset by a drop in demand from the residential group as witnessed in the third quarter. Increasing operating expenses are likely to have acted as a headwind in the fourth quarter.

Expectations

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter earnings per share (EPS) is pegged at 43 cents, indicating a 6.5% decline from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter 2021 revenues is pegged at $497 million, indicating a 4.9% rise from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

What Our Quantitative Model Predicts

Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Essential Utilities this time. 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, which is not the case here as you will see below.

Essential Utilities Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Essential Utilities Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

 

Essential Utilities Inc. price-eps-surprise | Essential Utilities Inc. Quote

 

Earnings ESP: WTRG has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell, before they’re reported, with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Currently, Essential Utilities carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Stocks to Consider

Investors can consider the following players from the same sector who have the right combination of elements to beat earnings in this reporting cycle.

American Electric Power (AEP - Free Report) is likely to come up with an earnings beat when it reports fourth-quarter results on Feb 24 before market open. American Electric Power has an Earnings ESP of +0.43% and a Zacks Rank of #3 at present.

American Electric Power’s long-term (three to five years) earnings growth is currently pegged at 5.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AEP’s 2022 EPS has surged 6.2% year over year.

Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG - Free Report) is likely to come up with an earnings beat when it reports fourth-quarter results on Feb 24 before market open. Public Service Enterprise has an Earnings ESP of +0.37% and a Zacks Rank of #3 at present.

Public Service Enterprise’s long-term earnings growth is currently pegged at 3.6%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for PEG’s 2021 EPS has surged 6.4% year over year.

ONEOK Inc. (OKE - Free Report) is likely to come up with an earnings beat when it reports fourth-quarter results on Feb 28 after market close. ONEOK has an Earnings ESP of +0.97% and a Zacks Rank of #3 at present.

ONEOK’s long-term earnings growth is currently pegged at 7.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for OKE’s 2022 EPS has surged 9.3% year over year.

Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar.