ONE Gas, Inc. (OGS - Free Report) recorded fourth-quarter 2018 operating earnings of 84 cents per share, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 85 cents by 1.2%.
The bottom line was also lower than the year-ago level by 5.6%. This was primarily due to higher operating expenses recorded during the quarter.
The company reported total revenues of $464.5 million in the fourth quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $451 million by nearly 3%. Also, the figure was ahead of the prior-year revenues of $462.4 million by 0.5%.
Total operating expenses in the reported quarter increased 3.9% from the year-ago quarter to $164.9 million, owing to increase in operating and maintenance expenses, as well as general taxes.
Operating income in the reported quarter was down 13.8% year over year to $80.8 million.
The company incurred interest expenses of $14.6 million, up 23.8% from the year-ago period.
At the end of 2018, the company served 13,000 more customers than the last year, primarily due to growth in residential customer base, accompanied with an increase in gas volume delivered to customers. At the end of 2018, it delivered 392.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas, up 14.2% year over year.
On Dec 31, 2018, ONE Gas had cash and cash equivalents of $21.32 million compared with $14.4 million in the corresponding period of 2017.
Long-term debt (excluding current maturities) was $1,285.5 million as of Dec 31, 2018, down from the Dec 31, 2017 level of $1,193.3 million.
The company’s cash flow from operating activities in 2018 was $467.7 million, up from $253.8 million recorded in 2017.
ONE Gas reiterated its guidance for 2019 net income in the range of $174-$190 million and earnings per share within $3.27-$3.57. The midpoint of management’s 2019 EPS guidance is $3.42, which is in line with the current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the period.
The company now expects 2019 capital expenditure to be $450 million, with 70% of it directed toward system integrity and replacement projects.
Atmos Energy Corporation (ATO - Free Report) posted first-quarter fiscal 2019 earnings of $1.38 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.33 by 3.8%.
MDU Resources Group Inc. (MDU - Free Report) delivered fourth-quarter 2018 operating earnings of 39 cents per share, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 42 cents by 7.14%.
National Fuel Gas Company (NFG - Free Report) posted first-quarter fiscal 2019 operating earnings of $1.12 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.07 by 4.7%.
ONE Gas currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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