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Ameren (AEE) Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Down Y/Y

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Ameren Corporation’s (AEE - Free Report) first-quarter 2019 earnings of 78 cents per share from continuing operations surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 70 cents by 11.4%. The bottom line also improved by 25.8% from the year-ago quarter’s 62 cents.

Total Revenues

Total revenues came in at $1,556 million in the reported quarter, which declined 1.8% year over year owing to lower electric sales volumes.

Highlights of the Release

Ameren’s total electricity sales volumes declined 3.3% to 19,217 million kilowatt hours (kWh) compared with 19,869 million kWh in the year-ago quarter. However, gas volumes expanded 6.5% to 82 million dekatherms.

Total operating expenses summed $1,268 million, down 3.35% year over year. Interest expenses were $97 million compared with $101 million a year ago.

The company’s operating income increased 5.5% to $288 million from $273 million in the year-ago quarter.

Segment Results

Ameren Missouri segment reported operating income of $39 million in the first quarter compared with $38 million in the year-ago quarter.

Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution segment reported operating income of $36 million in the first quarter compared with $33 million in the year-ago quarter.

Ameren Illinois Natural Gas segment reported operating income of $57 million compared with $42 million in the year-ago quarter.

Ameren Transmission segment reported operating income of $44 million in the first quarter compared with $37 million in the year-ago quarter.

Ameren Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Ameren Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Ameren Corporation Quote

Financial Condition

The company reported cash and cash equivalents of $8 million as on Mar 31, 2019, compared with $16 million at 2018 end.

As of Mar 31, 2019, long-term debt totaled $8,221 million compared with $7,859 million as on Dec 31, 2018.

In the first quarter of 2019, cash from operating activities amounted to $387 million compared with $258 million in the first quarter of 2018.

Guidance

Ameren reaffirms its 2019 guidance. The company expects earnings of $3.15-$3.35 per share, which is projected to grow at a 6-8% compound annual rate from 2018 through 2023. Currently the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2019 earnings is pegged at $3.27 per share, higher than the mid-point of the company’s guided range.

Zacks Rank

Ameren sports a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Recent Utility Releases

FirstEnergy Corp. (FE - Free Report) , which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), 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 (Strong Buy) stocks here.

NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE - Free Report) , which carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), 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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