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FirstEnergy (FE) Lags Q1 Earnings Estimates, Reaffirms View

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FirstEnergy Corporation (FE - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2018 operating earnings of 67 cents per share, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 68 cents by 1.5%. Quarterly earnings improved 28.9% year over year to come in within the expected range of 60-70 cents.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported earnings of $2.54 per share compared with 46 cents in the prior-year quarter. The difference between GAAP and operating earnings in the reported quarter was due to the impact of one-time gain from the exit of competitive business.

Total Revenues

FirstEnergy generated total revenues of $2,976 million in first-quarter 2018, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,262 million by 8.8%.

Revenues moved up 4.2% from $2,855 million in the year-ago quarter. The top line improved primarily on the back of higher regulated transmission and distribution revenues.

FirstEnergy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
 

FirstEnergy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | FirstEnergy Corporation Quote

Highlights of the Release

Total electric delivery increased 5% year over year to 38,740 thousand megawatt-hours (MWh). Residential sales rose 8.1%, while commercial and industrial sales rose 3.6% and 2.8% year over year, respectively.

Due to higher weather-related usage, distribution earnings in the reported quarter increased 6 cents from the year-ago quarter.

Financial Update

FirstEnergy's cash on hand as of Mar 31, 2018 was $248 million, down from $588 million as of Dec 31, 2017.

Long-term debt and other long-term obligations as of Dec 31 were $16,740 million compared with $18,186 million as of Dec 31, 2017.

Net cash (used)/provided from operating activities was ($880) million, compared with $785 million provided in the first quarter of 2017.

Guidance

FirstEnergy reiterated its operating earnings guidance for 2018 in the range of $2.25-$2.55 per share. For the second quarter of 2018, earnings are estimated in the range of 47-57 cents.

Upcoming Peer Releases

NextEra Energy (NEE - Free Report) is likely to report first-quarter 2018 operating earnings on Apr 24, 2018. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $1.75.

Dominion Energy (D - Free Report) is expected to report first-quarter 2018 operating earnings on Apr 27, 2018. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $1.03.

Exelon Corporation (EXC - Free Report) is anticipated to report first-quarter 2018 operating earnings on May 2, 2018. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at 93 cents.

Zacks Rank

FirstEnergy 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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