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Ameren Corp (AEE) Tops Q3 Earnings, Lifts 2016 Guidance

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Ameren Corporation (AEE - Free Report) posted third-quarter 2016 earnings from continuing operations of $1.52 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.38 by 10.1%. Earnings also increased 7.8% year over year.

The bottom-line improvement was primarily driven by higher retail electric sales to residential and commercial customers as a result of above-average temperatures in its service territories. Additionally, higher electric transmission, and electric and natural gas distribution infrastructure investments made by Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) and Ameren Illinois under the modern, constructive regulatory frameworks added to the company’s quarterly earnings.

Total Revenue

Total revenue of $1,859 million in the third quarter of 2016 was up 1.4% year over year on the back of higher electric and gas sales volumes.

Highlights of the Release

Ameren’s total electricity sales in the reported quarter inched up 0.3% to 21,398 million kilowatt hours (kWh) from 21,324 million kWh in the prior-year quarter. Gas volumes were up 7.4% to 29 million dekatherms from 27 million dekatherms in the prior-year quarter.

Total operating expenses in the third quarter were $1,168 million, down 3.2% year over year.

Interest expenses were $97 million, up 11.5% from the year-ago figure.

AMEREN CORP Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

AMEREN CORP Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | AMEREN CORP Quote

Financial Condition

Ameren reported cash and cash equivalents of $18 million as of Sep 30, 2016, compared with $292 million at 2015 end.

Long-term debt as of Sep 30, 2016 was $6,607 million, compared with $6,880 million as of Dec 31, 2015.

Cash from operating activities in the first nine months of 2016 was $1559 million, compared with $1,542 million in the prior-year period.

Capital expenditure in the first nine months was $1,496 million, up from $1,332 million in the year-ago period.

Guidance

Ameren raised its 2016 diluted earnings per share guidance to the range of $2.65–$2.75 from the earlier projection of $2.45–$2.65.

Peer Releases

DTE Energy Company (DTE - Free Report) reported third-quarter 2016 operating earnings per share of $1.96, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.54 by 27.3%. Reported earnings were also up 40% from the year-ago tally of $1.40.

Entergy Corporation (ETR - Free Report) reported third-quarter 2016 operating earnings of $2.31 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.95 by 18.5%. The reported number also improved 21.6% from $1.90 earned a year ago.

CMS Energy Corporation (CMS - Free Report) reported third-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings per share of 70 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 60 cents by 16.7%. Quarterly earnings also surged 32.1% from the year-ago figure of 53 cents.

Zacks Rank

Ameren currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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