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Why Is Alliant Energy (LNT) Up 3.6% Since the Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Alliant Energy Corporation (LNT - Free Report) . Shares have added about 3.6% 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 as 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.

Alliant Energy Q1 Earnings Miss, Revenues Grow Y/Y

Alliant Energy reported first-quarter 2017 operating earnings from continuing operations of $0.43 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.45 by 4.4%. Earnings remained flat year over year.

A warmer-than-expected winter in Alliant Energy’s service territories led to a $0.04 decline in quarterly earnings.

Total Revenue

Total revenue in the first quarter came in at $853.9 million, almost 1.2% higher year over year.

Operational Highlights

Total operating expenses were $711 million in the reported quarter, reflecting an increase of nearly 1.9% from $697.9 million in the year-ago period.

Operating income was $142.9 million, down 2% from $145.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

Interest expenses were $52.3 million, an increase of 8. 9% from $48 million in the year-ago quarter.

Financial Update

Cash and cash equivalents were $8.4 million as of Mar 31, 2017, rising marginally from $8.2 million as of Dec 31, 2016.

Long-term debt (excluding current portion) was at $4,316.1 million as of Mar 31, 2017, higher than $4,315.6 million as of Dec 31, 2016.

Cash used in operating activities was $333.7 million, compared with $228.3 million used in the year-ago comparable period.

Guidance

Alliant Energy reiterated its 2017 consolidated earnings per share guidance in the range of $1.92–$2.06.

For Utilities, American Transmission Company LLC and Corporate Services, earnings are expected in the range of $1.90 to $2.02 per share. For Non-regulated and Parent, the company expects earnings in the range of $0.02– $0.04 per share.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

Following the release, investors have witnessed an upward trend in fresh estimates. There has been one revision higher for the current quarter.

VGM Scores

At this time, the stock has an average Growth Score of C, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Zacks' style scores indicate that the company's stock is suitable for growth and momentum investors.

Outlook

Estimates have been trending upward for the stock. The magnitude of these revisions also looks promising. Interestingly, the stock has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We are expecting an inline return from the stock in the next few months.




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