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Alliant Energy (LNT) Down 3.3% Since Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Alliant Energy Corporation (LNT - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 3.3% in that time frame.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is LNT 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.

Alliant Energy Q1 Earnings Top Estimates, Sales Up Y/Y

Alliant Energy Corporation reported first-quarter 2018 operating earnings from continuing operations of 52 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 51 cents. Reported earnings increased 20.9% from 43 cents in the year-ago quarter.

The year-over-year increase in earnings was due to higher retail electric and gas sales due to colder temperatures in the first quarter of 2018 compared with the same period last year.

Total Revenues

Total revenues in the first quarter came in at $916.3 million, increasing 7.3% year over year. The rise was owing to higher year-over-year contribution from its Electric and Gas utility.
 
Operational Highlights


Total operating expenses were $750.6 million in the reported quarter, reflecting an increase of nearly 6.2% from $706.7 million in the year-ago period. This increase in expenses can be attributed to a rise in the cost of gas sold and energy efficiency, and depreciation and other expenses during the quarter.

Operating income was $165.7 million, up 12.6% from $147.2 million in the year-ago quarter.

Interest expenses were $59.2 million, an increase of 13.2% from $52.3 million in the prior-year quarter.

Financial Update

Cash and cash equivalents were $19.1 million as of Mar 31, 2018, up from $27.9 million as of Dec 31, 2017.

Long-term debt (excluding current portion) was $4,056.8 million as of Mar 31, 2018, marginally higher than $4,010.6 million as of Dec 31, 2017.

In first-quarter 2018, cash received from operating activities was $89.3 million, up from $119.0 million in first-quarter 2017.

Guidance

Alliant Energy maintained its 2018 consolidated earnings per share guidance in the range of $2.04-$2.18 per share.

For Utilities, American Transmission Company LLC and Corporate Services, earnings per share are now expected within $1.92-$2.02. For Non-regulated and Parent & ATC, the company expects earnings per share in the range of 12-16 cents.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

Analysts were quiet during the last two month period as none of them issued any earnings estimate revisions.

VGM Scores

Currently, LNT has a poor Growth Score of F, however its Momentum is doing a bit better 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 F. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

The company's stock is suitable solely for value based on our styles scores.

Outlook

LNT has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). We expect an above average return from the stock in the next few months.




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