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PPL Corporation's Q4 Earnings Top, Revenues Miss Estimates

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PPL Corporation (PPL - Free Report) delivered fourth-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings per share of 52 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 49 cents by 6.1%. The figure declined 5.4% year over year, primarily due to lower earnings in the Pennsylvania and Kentucky Regulated segments.

On a GAAP basis, the company generated EPS of 57 cents compared with 11 cents in the year-ago quarter. The difference between GAAP and operating earnings in the reported quarter was due to a gain in U.K. Regulated segment.

In 2018, the company delivered adjusted earnings of $2.40 per share, up from $2.25 in 2017.

Total Revenues

PPL Corporation posted revenues of $1,939 million in the fourth quarter, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,950 million by 0.6%. Nevertheless, the figure improved 0.7% year over year.

In 2018, the company posted revenues of $7,785 million, up from $7,447 million in 2017.

PPL Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

PPL Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | PPL Corporation Quote

 

Segment Results

U.K. Regulated: Adjusted earnings increased 10.3% from the prior-year quarter’s tally to 32 cents per share. The upside was primarily supported by higher foreign currency exchange rates, increased pension income and hiked prices effective from Apr 1, 2018.

Kentucky Regulated: Adjusted earnings were 11 cents, down from 14 cents in the year-ago quarter.  The decline was primarily caused by higher operation and maintenance expense as well as other factors.

Pennsylvania Regulated: Adjusted earnings fell 7% from the prior-year quarter’s tally to 13 cents. The results were affected by higher operation and maintenance expense, higher depreciation expense as well as the effect of share dilution.

Corporate and Other: The segment reported a loss of 4 cents in the quarter, which was wider that a loss of 2 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Operational Highlights

PPL Corporation’s total operating expenses increased 8.9% year over year to $ 1,282 million in the reported quarter.

The company reported operating income of $657 million, lower than $749 million in the prior-year quarter.

Interest expenses increased 5.6% to $245 million from the year-ago quarter’s tally of $232 million.

Financial Position

As of Dec 31, 2018, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $621 million compared with $485 million as of Dec 31, 2017.

Long-term debt (excluding debts due within a year) was $20,069 million as of Dec 31, 2018 compared with $19,847 million at the end of 2017.

Net cash flow from operating activities at the end of 2018 was $2,821 million compared with $2,461 million a year ago.

Guidance

PPL Corporation announced guidance for 2019 EPS from ongoing operations in the range of $2.30-$2.50 with a midpoint of $2.40 which is lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.44.

Zacks Rank

Currently, PPL Corporation 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

NextEra Energy, Inc (NEE - Free Report) delivered fourth-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings of $1.49 per share, which lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.51 by 1.3%.

American Electric Power Co., Inc (AEP - Free Report) generated fourth-quarter 2018 operating EPS of 72 cents, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL - Free Report) posted fourth-quarter 2018 operating earnings of 42 cents per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

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