PPL Corporation (PPL - Free Report) reported third-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings per share of 59 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 56 cents by 5.4%. Earnings improved 5.4% year over year, primarily driven by higher earnings at the U.K. and Pennsylvania segments.
On a GAAP basis, the company reported earnings per share of 62 cents in the quarter compared with 51 cents a year ago. The difference between GAAP and operating earnings in the reported quarter was due to the adjustment of special items.
PPL Corp posted revenues of $1,872 million in the third quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,859 million by 0.7%. Revenues also improved 1.5% year over year.
U.K. Regulated: Adjusted earnings increased 25% from the prior-year quarter to 30 cents per share. The upside was primarily supported by higher foreign currency exchange rates, increased pension income, improved sales volumes and hiked prices effective Apr 1, 2018.
Kentucky Regulated: Adjusted earnings were 17 cents, down from 18 cents in the year-ago quarter. Higher operation and maintenance expenses and the effect of share dilution hurt segment results.
Pennsylvania Regulated: Adjusted earnings increased 23% from the prior-year quarter to 16 cents per share. The results benefited from returns on additional capital investments in transmission, higher sales volumes primarily due to favorable weather, and lower operation and maintenance expenses.
Corporate and Other: The segment reported a loss of 4 cents in the quarter against 1 cent earnings in the prior-year quarter. The deterioration was due to income taxes and financing costs.
PPL Corp’s total operating expenses increased 7% year over year to $ 1,186 million in the reported quarter.
The company reported operating income of $686 million, lower than $736 million in the prior-year quarter.
Interest expenses increased 6% to $244 million from the year-ago quarter’s $230 million.
As of Sep 30, 2018, PPL Corp had cash and cash equivalents of $842 million compared with $485 million as of Dec 31, 2017.
Long-term debt (excluding debts due within a year) was $19,924 million as of Sep 30, 2018, compared with $19,847 million at the end of 2017.
Net cash flow from operating activities at the end of the first nine months of 2018 was $2,210 million compared with $1,754 million in the year-ago period.
PPL Corp lifts guidance for 2018 earnings per share from ongoing operations to $2.30-$2.40 from the earlier expectation of $2.25-$2.40 with an increased midpoint of $2.35 per share.
The company continues to expect 5% to 6% compound annual earnings growth per share from 2018 through 2020 off its original 2018 ongoing earnings forecast midpoint of $2.30 per share.
Currently, PPL Corp carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Other Utility Releases
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DTE Energy Company (DTE - Free Report) reported third-quarter 2018 operating earnings per share of $2.13, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.74 by 22.4%.
FirstEnergy Corporation (FE - Free Report) reported third-quarter 2018 operating earnings of 80 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 73 cents by 9.59%.
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