CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (CNP - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings of 36 cents per share, which came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The bottom line improved by 9.1% from the year-ago quarter’s tally of 33 cents.
The company’s GAAP earnings came in at 18 cents per share compared with $2.99 registered in the prior-year quarter.
For 2018, CenterPoint Energy posted adjusted earnings of $1.60 per share, which surpassed with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.59 by a penny. Full-year earnings also improved by 16.8% from the year-ago tally of $1.37.
CenterPoint Energy’s total revenues in the quarter were $3.04 billion, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.66 billion by 14.3%. The reported figure was also 15.1% higher than $2.64 billion a year ago.
Increased contribution from both the utility and non-utility segments led to top-line growth.
For 2018, the company’s total revenues of $10.59 billion outshined the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9.69 billion by 9.3%. The top line was also 10.1% higher than $9.62 billion registered in 2017.
Total expenses during the fourth quarter increased 23.1% to $2,869 million.
The company’s operating income declined 45.8% to $167 million from $308 million in the year-ago quarter.
Interest and other finance charges increased to $102 million from $78 million a year ago.
The Electric Transmission & Distribution segment reported operating income of $100 million in the fourth quarter compared with $125 million in the year-ago quarter.
The Natural Gas Distribution segment reported operating income of $100 million compared with $113 million in the year-ago quarter.
The Energy Services segment incurred operating loss of $27 million against operating income of $68 million in the year-ago quarter.
The midstream investments segment reported $99 million of equity income compared with $66 million a year ago.
The Other Operations segment incurred operating loss of $6 million against operating income of $2 million in the prior-year quarter. The downturn can be primarily attributed to costs related to the merger with Vectren.
As of Dec 31, 2018, CenterPoint Energy had cash and cash equivalents of $4,231 million, up significantly from $260 million as of Dec 31, 2017.
Total long-term debt was $8,682 million as of Dec 31, 2018, compared with $8,195 million as of Dec 31, 2017.
At the end of 2018, the company’s net cash from operating activities was $2,136 million, up from $1,417 million in the previous year.
Further, CenterPoint Energy’s total capital expenditure totaled $1,720 million in 2018, up from $1,494 million a year ago.
CenterPoint Energy issued its 2019 earnings guidance. The company currently expects to generate earnings in the range of $1.60-$1.70 per diluted share, excluding certain impacts associated in relation to its merger with Vectren.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 earnings is pegged at $1.67, which lies above the mid-point of the company’s guided range.
CenterPoint Energy currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Recent Utility Releases
AES Corporation’s (AES - Free Report) fourth-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings of 36 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 33 cents by 9.1%.
Entergy Corporation (ETR - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings of 60 cents per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 48 cents by 25%.
Ameren Corporation’s (AEE - Free Report) fourth-quarter 2018 earnings of 28 cents per share from continuing operations missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 32 cents by 12.5%.
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