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Why Is Alliant Energy (LNT) Up 4.2% Since Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Alliant Energy (LNT - Free Report) . Shares have added about 4.2% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

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

Alliant Energy's Q4 Earnings In Line, Revenues Up Y/Y

Alliant Energy Corporation reported fourth-quarter 2018 operating earnings of 36 cents per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The reported earnings increased 9.1% from 33 cents recorded in the year-ago quarter.

Full-year 2018 earnings came in at $2.17, which is within the estimated range of $2.13-$2.19 per share predicted by the company.

Total Revenues

Total revenues in the fourth quarter came in at $873.5 million, increasing 2.1% year over year. The revenue growth was due to higher year-over-year contribution from its Electric and Gas utility segments.

Operational Highlights

Total operating expenses were $752.1 million in the reported quarter, reflecting an increase of 4.2% from $722.1 million in the year-ago period. This increase in expenses can be attributed to a rise in electric production fuel and purchased power, as well as an increase in electric transmission service cost.

Operating income was $121.4 million, down 9.4% from $134 million in the year-ago quarter.

Interest expenses were $63.2 million, reflecting an increase of 11.7% from $56.6 million in the prior-year quarter.

Financial Update

Cash and cash equivalents were $20.9 million as of Dec 31, 2018, down from $27.9 million in the corresponding period of 2017.

Long-term debt (excluding current portion) was $5,246.3 million as of Dec 31, 2018, higher than $4,010.6 million in the comparable year-ago period.

In 2018, cash flow from operating activities was $527.7 million compared with $521.6 million a year ago.

Guidance

Alliant Energy reiterated its 2018 consolidated earnings per share guidance in the range of $2.17-$2.31.

For Utilities (American Transmission Company LLC and Corporate Services), earnings per share are expected within $2.14-$2.24. For ATC Holdings, the company expects earnings per share in the range of 11-13 cents. For Non-regulated and Parent, earnings are likely to have a negative impact of 6-8 cents.
 

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

Analysts were quiet during the last two month period as none of them issued any earnings estimate revisions.


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