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Ameren (AEE) to Report Q1 Earnings: Is a Beat in the Cards?

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Ameren Corporation (AEE - Free Report) is scheduled to release first-quarter 2019 results before the opening bell on May 9. In the last reported quarter, this utility delivered a negative earnings surprise of 12.50%. However, it outpaced estimates in three of the trailing four quarters, the average being 8.59%.
 
Let’s see how things are shaping up prior to this announcement.
 
Why a Likely Positive Surprise?
 
Our proven model shows that Ameren is likely to beat on earnings in the first quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both — a positive Earnings ESP and a favorable Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) — for this to happen. 
 
Earnings ESP: Ameren has an Earnings ESP of +3.70%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
 
Zacks Rank: The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3, which increases the predictive power of ESP.
 
Conversely, we caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell-rated) going into an earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.
 
Ameren Corporation Price and EPS Surprise
 

Ameren Corporation Price and EPS Surprise | Ameren Corporation Quote

Factors Under Consideration

Ameren’s service territories witnessed below-normal and below-average temperatures during most of the first quarter of 2019, characterized by excessive cold winters along with heavy and prolonged snowstorms. The freezing conditions witnessed in one of the company's service territory, Illinois, was led by the emergence of the Arctic blast that occurred in late January. This resulted in increased demand for electricity by the utility’s customers on account of enhanced heating facility usages. This must have boosted the company’s top line in the to-be-reported quarter.

Ameren continues to implement its strategy of investing in rate-regulated energy infrastructure for improving its overall operating performance. The execution of such a strategy led to a solid earnings growth for the company in 2018. Moreover, over the last five years, Ameren's planned investments have led to compound annual earnings per share growth of more than 7%. As the company expects to deliver strong earnings growth in 2019 as well, we expect this trend to continue and favorably impact the bottom line in the upcoming quarterly results.

Considering this, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Ameren’s earnings is pegged at 70 cents, suggesting a 12.9% rise from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

Recent Utility Releases
 
FirstEnergy Corporation (FE - Free Report) , which carries a Zacks Rank #2, delivered first-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 67 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 66 cents by 1.52%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
 
NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE - Free Report) , which carries a Zacks Rank #3, reported first-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of $2.20 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.01 by 9.4%.
 
DTE Energy Company (DTE - Free Report) , which carries a Zacks Rank #2, reported first-quarter 2019 operating earnings per share (EPS) of $2.05, which exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.95 by 5.1%.
 
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