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Why Is NextEra (NEE) Up 0.3% Since Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for NextEra Energy (NEE - Free Report) . Shares have added about 0.3% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

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

NextEra Energy Q3 Earnings Top, Revenues Lag Estimates

NextEra Energy, Inc.  reported third-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings of $2.18 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.17 by 0.46%. Moreover, earnings were up 17.8% on a year-over-year basis.

The year-over-year earnings growth was led by solid contribution from both Florida Power & Light Company, and NextEra Energy Resources segments. The enhanced growth was primarily due to new investments made at both the segments.

On a GAAP basis, NextEra Energy recorded earnings of $2.10 per share, up from $1.79 a year ago.

Total Revenues

In the third quarter, NextEra Energy’s operating revenues were $4,418 million, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,888 million by 9.6%. Reported revenues were down 8.1% year over year.

Segmental Results

Florida Power & Light Company: Earnings came in at $1.37 per share, up 15.1% from $1.19 recorded in the prior-year quarter. Revenues amounted to $3,399 million, down 2.2% from the prior-year quarter.

Continued investments to strengthen its operation not only increased the reliability of services but also allowed it to efficiently serve its expanding customer base.

NextEra Energy Resources: Quarterly earnings came in at 73 cents per share, up 17.7% from 62 cents in the year-ago quarter. Revenues amounted to $1,020 million, down 23.8% from the prior-year quarter.

Corporate and Other: Operating earnings in the reported quarter was 8 cents compared with 4 cents in the year-ago quarter.
 
Highlights of the Release

In the reported quarter, NextEra Energy’s total operating expenses were down 0.3% to $3,448 million.

Interest expenses in the quarter were $167 million, down 56.2% from the year-ago quarter.

In the reported quarter, Florida Power & Light Company’s total average customer count went up by 58,000 or 1.2% on a year-over-year basis.

NextEra Energy Resources expanded its backlog of renewable projects in excess of 1,417 MW in the third quarter of 2018, adding 850 MW of wind, 447 MW of solar and 120 MW of battery storage projects.

Financial Update

NextEra Energy had cash and cash equivalents of $497 million as of Sep 30, 2018 compared with $1,714 million on Dec 31, 2017.

Long-term debt as of Sep 30, 2018 was $27.04 billion, down from $31.4 billion on Dec 31, 2017.

NextEra Energy’s cash flow from operating activities in the first nine months of 2018 was $5,225 million compared with $5,329 million in the corresponding period last year.

Guidance
 
NextEra Energy reiterated its adjusted earnings guidance in the range of $7.45-$7.95 for 2018. The company expects its earnings to register a compound annual growth rate of 6-8% per year through 2021, off its 2018 earnings midpoint of $7.70.

The company expects its dividend per share to increase 12-14% per year through 2020 from a 2017 base of $3.93 per share.

NextEra Energy currently aims to add 10,100-16,500 MW of renewable power projects in its portfolio within the 2017-2020 time frame.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in fresh estimates.

VGM Scores

Currently, NextEra has a subpar Growth Score of D, however its Momentum Score is doing a lot better with a B. However, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% 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.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of this revision indicates a downward shift. Notably, NextEra has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.




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