Duke Energy Corporation (DUK - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2019 earnings of $1.24 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.21 by 2.5%. The bottom line also improved 40.9% year over year, driven by revenues as well as operating income growth.
Total operating revenues came in at $6,163 million, up 0.5% from $6,135 million a year ago. The reported figure, however, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6,249 million by 1.4%.
The regulated electric unit’s revenues were $5,285 million (almost flat year over year), representing 85.8% of total revenues in the first quarter.
Revenues from the regulated natural gas business totaled $728 million, up 4% year over year.
The Non-regulated and Other segment generated revenues of $150 million, which slipped 0.7% year over year.
Duke Energy’s total operating expenses amounted to $4,787 million in the reported quarter, up from $4,779 million in 2018’s first quarter. The uptick was on account of higher natural gas cost, escalated depreciation and amortization expenses as well as increased property and other taxes.
Operating income increased 9.3% to $1,373 million from $1,256 million a year ago.
Interest expenses rose to $543 million from $515 million in 2018’s first quarter.
Quarterly Segmental Highlights
Electric Utilities & Infrastructure: Net income in the first quarter totaled $750 million, which came in flat with the year-ago quarter’s figure.
Gas Utilities & Infrastructure: Net income at this segment summed $226 million, up from $116 million recorded a year ago.
Commercial Renewables: This segment reported net income of $13 million in the quarter under review compared with $20 million a year ago.
Other: The segment includes corporate interest expenses not allocated to other business units, results from Duke Energy’s captive insurance company and other investments.
This segment incurred net loss of $89 million compared with that of $266 million in the year-ago quarter.
As of Mar 31, 2019, Duke Energy had cash & cash equivalents of $377 million, down from $442 million as on Dec 31, 2018. Long-term debt was $53.7 billion at the end of first quarter compared with $51.1 billion at 2018 end.
In the first quarter, the company generated net cash from operating activities of $1,239 million compared with $1,391 million in the prior year.
Duke Energy reaffirmed its earnings guidance for 2019. It still expects adjusted earnings per share of $4.80-$5.20. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 earnings is pegged at $4.94, below the mid point of the company’s projected range.
Duke 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
FirstEnergy Corporation (FE - Free Report) delivered first-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 67 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 66 cents by 1.52%.
NextEra Energy, Inc.’s (NEE - Free Report) first-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings came in at $2.20 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.01 by 9.4%.
DTE Energy Company (DTE - Free Report) 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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