Utilities sector is benefiting from demand recovery in the commercial and industrial group of customers post-pandemic. Improvement in economic conditions after the pandemic has generated fresh demand for utility services. Domestic-focused companies operating in the sector have benefited from various favorable factors. These are new electric rates, customer additions, cost management, implementation of energy-efficiency programs, ongoing investments to improve the resilience of the electric infrastructure against extreme weather conditions and transition toward cost-effective alternate sources of fuel to produce electricity. Yet, the performance of capital-intensive utilities is likely to have been adversely impacted by an increase in interest rates from the near-zero levels. An increase in borrowing costs and the resultant rise in interest expenses is likely to have adversely impacted the earnings of companies operating in the space. Utility companies focus on producing more electricity from clean sources and gradually shutting down coal-based production units. Courtesy of government incentives and a decline in expenses of utility-scale renewable power projects, quite a few companies have announced plans to achieve zero emissions by 2050. In the reported quarter, the utilities are expected to have benefited from higher demand. Cold winter months and above-average temperature in the month of March are expected to have boosted demand for electricity. Per the current Earnings Trends report, utility is among the 9 Zacks sectors that are expected to earn more in the first quarter than the year-ago period. Below we take a look at utility companies Dominion Energy Inc. ( D Quick Quote D - Free Report) , Evergy Inc. ( EVRG Quick Quote EVRG - Free Report) , PPL Corporation ( PPL Quick Quote PPL - Free Report) , Consolidated Edison, Inc. ( ED Quick Quote ED - Free Report) , and Sempra Energy ( SRE Quick Quote SRE - Free Report) to see how they are placed ahead of their earnings releases. According to the Zacks model, a company needs the right combination of two key ingredients — a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or better — to increase the odds of an earnings surprise. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter. Dominion Energy’s first-quarter earnings are likely to have benefited from regulated investment, and improving sales from commercial and industrial customer groups. (Read More: Dominion Energy to Report Q1 Earnings: What to Expect) Our proven model predicts an earnings beat for Dominion Energy this time around. D has an Earnings ESP of +0.42% and a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. Evergy Inc.’s first-quarter earnings are likely to have gained from higher transmission revenues due to consistent investments to strengthen the transmission infrastructure. Return to normal weather conditions and high D&A might adversely impact first-quarter earnings. ( Read More: Evergy to Report Q1 Earnings: What's in the Offing?) Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Evergy this time around. EVRG has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank of 3. PPL Corporation’s first-quarter earnings are likely to have benefited from ongoing economic development in PPL Corporation’s service territories and a reduction in the long-term debt balance are likely to have reduced capital servicing costs and boosted margins in the first quarter. (Read more: PPL Readies to Report Q1 Earnings: What's in the Offing?) Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for PPL Corporation this time around. PPL has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank of 3. Consolidated Edison Inc.’s first-quarter earnings are likely to have benefited from positive outcomes from timely rate revisions. The overall impact of temperature on Consolidated Edison’s first-quarter revenues is expected to have been neutral. (Read moe: What's in Store for Consolidated Edison in Q1 Earnings?) Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Consolidated Edison this time around. ED has an Earnings ESP of -0.33% and a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). Sempra Energy’s first-quarter 2022 earnings are likely to have benefited from favorable rate revision. Positive returns from invested capital in infrastructure and customer growth are likely to have boosted first-quarter earnings, while weather might have an adverse impact on first-quarter earnings. (Read more: Sempra Energy to Post Q1 Earnings: What's in the Cards?) Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Sempra Energy this time around. SRE has an Earnings ESP of -0.45% and a Zacks Rank of 3.
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