FirstEnergy Corporation’s ( FE Quick Quote FE - Free Report) growing regulated base and distribution and transmission lines are expected to boost earnings. The company’s ‘Energizing the Future’ project will add to its overall operational strength. FE’s strong growth opportunities make it a solid investment option in the utility sector. Let’s focus on the factors that make this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company a good investment option at the moment. Growth Projections & Long-term Earnings Growth
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for FirstEnergy’s 2023 earnings per share (EPS) has moved up 0.8% to $2.53 in the past 60 days.
The consensus estimate for 2023 sales is pinned at $13.05 billion, indicating year-over-year growth of 4.7%. FE’s long-term (three- to five-year) earnings growth rate is 6.45%. Return on Equity
Return on equity (ROE) indicates how efficiently a company has been utilizing the funds to generate higher returns. Currently, FirstEnergy’s ROE is 12.41%, higher than the industry’s average of 6.03%. This indicates that the company has been utilizing the funds more constructively than its peers in the utility electric power industry.
FirstEnergy’s board of directors approved a new dividend policy that increases targeted payout ratio to 60-70% from 55-65%. Currently, its quarterly dividend is 39 cents per share, resulting in an annualized dividend of $1.56 per share. The company’s current dividend yield is 4.23%, better than the Zacks S&P 500 Composite’s yield of 1.43%.
FirstEnergy has plans to invest nearly $18 billion in the 2021-2025 period to further strengthen its existing operations. Strengthening of the transmission and renewable generation assets will allow the company to transmit electricity even during adverse weather conditions and provide emission-free electricity to customers. Such planned investment will result in annual rate-base growth of 7% over the 2024-2025 period.
The company’s ‘Energizing the Future’ plan is aimed at enhancing and expanding regulated transmission capabilities. FirstEnergy has committed more than $10 billion to the program through 2022. Price Performance
In the past month, FirstEnergy’s shares have risen 1.8% compared with the
industry’s average 1.3% growth. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Other Stocks to Consider
A few other top-ranked stocks from the same industry are
TransAlta ( TAC Quick Quote TAC - Free Report) and Vistra Corp. ( VST Quick Quote VST - Free Report) , both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and ALLETE ( ALE Quick Quote ALE - Free Report) , holding a Zacks Rank #2 at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for TAC’s 2023 EPS indicates a year-over-year increase of 1,912.5%. It delivered an average earnings surprise of 107.1% in the last four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for VST’s 2023 EPS indicates a year-over-year improvement of 205.8%. The same for sales indicates a year-over-year increase of 46.2%. ALE’s long-term earnings growth rate is 8.1%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2023 EPS implies year-over-year growth of 8.6%.