NiSource Inc. (NI - Free Report) delivered operating earnings of 82 cents per share in first-quarter 2019, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 77 cents by 6.5%. The bottom line also increased 6.5% from the year-ago quarter’s tally. The upside was primarily driven by the company’s continued execution of long-term utility infrastructure modernization programs.
On a GAAP basis, the company reported earnings of 55 cents compared with 82 cents in the prior-year quarter.
NiSource generated operating revenues of $1,858.1 million in first-quarter 2019, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,841 million by 1%. The top line also increased 6% from $1,752.2 million recorded in the year-ago quarter.
Highlights of the Release
Total operating expenses in the quarter under review increased 8.8% year over year to $681.5 million.
Total interest expenses in the reported quarter increased 2.7% from the prior-year quarter’s figure to $95.6 million.
NiSource's cash and cash equivalents as of Mar 31, 2019, were $151 million, up from $112.8 million as of Dec 31, 2018.
Long-term debts (excluding amounts due within a year) as of Mar 31, 2019, were $7,110.1 million compared with $7,105.4 million as of Dec 31, 2018.
Net cash provided from operating activities in the first quarter was $399.1 million, up from $388.2 million in the prior-year quarter.
For 2019, NiSource reaffirmed investment guidance in the range of $1.6-$1.7 billion. Management projects 2019 EPS in the range of $1.27-$1.33. The mid-point of $1.30 is in line with the current Zacks Consensus Estimate.
NiSource expects its earnings and dividend to increase by 5% to 7% annually from 2019 through 2022. The company expects to make capital investments of $1.6-$2.0 billion annually from 2020 to 2022 time period.
NiSource has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Other Utility Releases
DTE Energy Company (DTE - Free Report) delivered first-quarter 2019 operating earnings of $2.05 per share, which exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.95 by 5.1%.
NextEra Energy, Inc (NEE - Free Report) generated first-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of $2.20 per share, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.01 by 9.4%.
FirstEnergy Corporation (FE - Free Report) delivered first-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 67 cents per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 66 cents by 1.52%.
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