About a month has gone by since the last earnings report for WEC Energy Group, Inc. (WEC - Free Report) . Shares have added about 4.4% in that time frame, outperforming the market.
Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to the stock's next earnings release, or is it due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.
WEC Energy Beats Earnings & Revenue Estimates in Q2
WEC Energy reported second-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of 63 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 59 cents by 6.8% and the year-ago figure of 57 cents by 10.5%.
WEC Energy’s total revenue amounted to $1,631.5 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,592 million by 2.5%. Reported revenues also surpassed the year-ago figure of $1,602 million by 1.8%.
Highlights of the Release
Residential consumption of electricity in the first half of 2017 was down 1.1% year over year. Electricity utilized by small commercial and industrial customers also dropped 1% year over year. Electricity used by large commercial and industrial customers, excluding the iron ore mines in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, declined 0.5%.
Total operating expenses in the quarter under review was $1,269.3 million compared with $1,269.9 million.
Operating income in the reported quarter was $ 362.2 million, up 9.1% from $332.1 million a year ago.
The company’s interest expenses in the second quarter increased 1.8% year over year to $101.9 million.
WEC Energy's utilities expanded the customer base in the reported quarter. At the end of second-quarter 2017, the company had an additional 9,000 electric and 13,000 natural gas customers compared with the year-ago quarter.
As of Jun 30, 2017, WEC Energy had cash and cash equivalents of $36.5 million compared with $37.5 million as of Dec 31, 2016.
As of Jun 30, 2017, WEC Energy’s long-term debts of $8.8 billion, decreased almost 3.9% from the 2016-end level.
In the first half of 2016, cash flow from operating activities was $1,268.0 million, marginally higher than $1,224.1 million in the year-ago period.
WEC Energy’s capital expenditure in the first half of 2016 was $790.0 million, 26.1% higher than the comparable year-ago period.
The company reaffirmed its 2017 earnings guidance in the range of $3.06 to $3.12, with the expectation of closing the year in the upper end of the range.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
Analysts were quiet during the last one month period as none of them issued any earnings estimate revisions.
WEC Energy Group, Inc. Price and Consensus
At this time, WEC Energy's stock has an average Growth Score of C, however its Momentum is lagging a bit with a D. The stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.
Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.
Based on our scores, the stock is suitable for growth and value investors.
Notably, the stock has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect in-line returns from the stock in the next few months.