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American Electric Power (AEP) Down 4.2% Since Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 4.2% in that time frame.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is AEP due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

American Electric Misses on Q1 Earnings, Keeps '18 View

American Electric Power reported first-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 96 cents, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.00 per share by 4%.

The bottom line was on par with the previous year’s reported figure.

Excluding the one-time items, the company reported GAAP earnings of 92 cents per share, compared to the year-ago quarter’s figure of $1.20.

Total Revenues

American Electric’s first-quarter revenues of $4 billion surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.86 billion by 3.6%. The reported figure was also higher than the year-ago quarter’s revenue of $3.9 billion by 2.6%.

Quarterly Highlights

Operating expenses in the reported quarter were $1,850.2 million compared with $1,657.7 million a year ago.

Operating income in the quarter was $729.8 million, down 16% from $873.3 million a year ago.

Segmental Performance

Vertically Integrated Utility Operations: Operating earnings in the quarter rose to $231.2 million from $219.5 million a year ago.

Transmission & Distribution Utilities: Operating earnings were $125.4 million in the quarter, up from $119.1 million a year ago.

AEP Transmission Holdco: This segment generated operating income of $104 million, up from $71.8 million recorded in the first quarter of 2017.

Generation and Marketing: Operating earnings were $37 million, down from $68.3 million in the year-ago quarter.

Corporate & Other: Operating loss for the first quarter stands at $24.4 million, compared to operating loss of $4.4 million posted in the year ago quarter.

Financial Update

As of Mar 31, 2018, American Electric had $316.5 million in cash and cash equivalents compared with $412.6 million as of Dec 31, 2017.

Long-term debt was $18.84 billion as of Mar 31, 2018, compared with $19.42 billion as of Dec 31, 2017.

Cash flow from operations was $802.2 million at the end of first-quarter compared with $806.8 million at the end of Mar 31, 2017.

Guidance

American Electric reaffirmed 2018 operating earnings guidance in the range of $3.75-$3.95.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed an upward trend in fresh estimates. There have been four revisions higher for the current quarter

VGM Scores

At this time, AEP has a subpar Growth Score of D. Its Momentum is doing a bit better with a C. The stock was also 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.

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

Outlook

Estimates have been trending upward for the stock and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, AEP has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.




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