Ameren Corporation’s ( AEE Quick Quote AEE - Free Report) first-quarter 2022 earnings of 97 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 96 cents by 1%. Also, the reported figure improved by 6.6% from the 91 cents reported in the year-ago quarter.
The year-over-year bottom-line improvement can be primarily attributed to increased infrastructure investments across all the company’s business segments.
Total revenues came in at $1,879 million in the reported quarter, which improved by 20% year over year due to higher electric and natural gas revenues. Revenues also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,620 million by 16%.
Highlights of the Release
Ameren’s total electricity sales volumes rose 12.2% to 19,806 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) compared with 17,655 million kWh witnessed in the year-ago quarter. Gas volumes rose 3.9% to 80 million dekatherms.
Total operating expenses were $1,548 million, up 23.8% year over year.
The company’s interest expenses in the first quarter were $104 million compared with the prior-year quarter’s $100 million.
Ameren Missouri segment reported earnings of $50 million in the first quarter of 2022 compared with the $47 million recorded in the year-ago period. The year-over-year improvement can be attributed to earnings from infrastructure investments, including wind generation and higher electric retail sales.
Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution segment reported earnings of $49 million in the first quarter of 2022 compared with the $46 million registered in the year-ago period. The year-over-year improvement was driven by increased earnings from infrastructure investments and a higher allowed return on equity due to a higher average 30-year U.S. Treasurybond yield in 2022 compared with 2021.
Ameren Illinois Natural Gas segment generated earnings of $80 million in the first quarter of 2022 compared with $75 million in the year-ago period. This year-over-year improvement was led by higher delivery services rates effective late January 2021, which incorporated increased infrastructure investments.
Ameren Transmission segment reported earnings of $58 million in the first quarter of 2022 compared with $47 million in the prior year. The improvement can be attributed to higher earnings from infrastructure investments. Financial Condition
Ameren reported cash and cash equivalents of $7 million as of Mar 31, 2022 compared with the $8 million registered at the 2021-end.
As of Mar 31, 2022, the long-term debt totaled $12,563 million compared with $12,562 million as of Dec 31, 2021.
During the first quarter, the cash flow from operating activities amounted to $388 million against the cash outflow of $35 million in the prior-year period.
Ameren reaffirmed its 2022 guidance. AEE currently expects to generate earnings per share (EPS) in the range of $3.95-$4.15. Currently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings is pegged at $4.07 per share, higher than the midpoint of the guidance range.
Ameren currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see
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