Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.’s (AQN - Free Report) earnings estimates have been revised upward over the past 60 days, reflecting analysts’ confidence in the stock. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 and 2019 earnings has moved 8.2% and 5.3% north to 66 cents and 60 cents per share, respectively, within the same time frame.
Algonquin Power & Utilities, currently a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock, is the owner and operator of a portfolio of regulated and non-regulated generation, distribution, and transmission utility assets.
The stock has an impressive VGM Score of B. Here V stands for Value, G for Growth and M for Momentum, with the score being a weighted combination of all the three factors. Back-tested results show that stocks with a favorable VGM Score of A or B coupled with a bullish Zacks Rank offer the best investment bets.
Let’s focus on the factors that make Algonquin Power a stock to bet on for obtaining greater returns.
Capital investments: The company plans to invest nearly $6.4 billion to expand its regulated and unregulated operation. Apart from expanding its green asset fleet domestically, Algonquin Power is also planning to expand operation internationally.
Dividend Increase: The company continues to add shareholder value in the form of regular dividend payouts. On May 10, 2018, its Board of Directors approved a 10% year-over-year hike in annual dividend rate to 51.3 cents.
Price Appreciation: In the past 18 months, shares of Algonquin Power have gained 11.2% compared with the industry’s growth of 2.2%.
Growth Projections: The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings per share is pegged at 66 cents, reflecting a significant year-over-year jump of 13.79%.
Global Expansion: On Mar 9, 2018, Algonquin Power announced that it has acquired 25% interest in Atlantica Yield (AY - Free Report) for $608 million. On Apr 17, 2018, Algonquin Power further exercised its right to acquire an additional 16.5% stake for $345 million in Atlantica Yield. The company’s joint venture AAGES with Spain-based Abengoa S.A. will support its goal to expand international operations.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other top-ranked stocks in the same industry include Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P. (BEP - Free Report) and NiSource, Inc. (NI - Free Report) , each holding a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Brookfield Renewable Partners pulled off an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 4.17%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 has moved up 57.1% in the past 60 days to 22 cents per share. Its earnings are expected to grow 9.0% over the long-term (3-5 year) period.
NiSource delivered an average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 0.78%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 has moved up 0.8% in the past 60 days to $1.29 per share. The company’s earnings are projected to increase 5.5% over the long-term period.
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