Ameren Corporation’s (AEE - Free Report) second-quarter 2019 earnings of 72 cents per share from continuing operations missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 75 cents by 4%. The bottom line also declined 25.8% from the year-ago quarter’s 97 cents.
Total revenues came in at $1,379 million in the reported quarter, which declined 11.8% year over year owing to lower electric and natural gas sales volumes. The reported figure also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,432 million by 3.7%.
Highlights of the Release
Ameren’s total electricity sales volumes declined 16.2% to 16,339 million kilowatt hours (kWh) compared with 19,494 million kWh in the year-ago quarter. However, gas volumes expanded 6.5% to 82 million dekatherms.
Total operating expenses summed $1,099 million, down 6.7% year over year from $1,178 million. Interest expenses were $97 million compared with $100 million a year ago.
The company’s operating income declined 27% to $280 million from $385 million in the year-ago quarter.
The Ameren Missouri segment reported operating income of $107 million in the second quarter compared with $168 million in the year-ago quarter. The year-over-year decline reflected lower electric retail sales, which negatively impacted earnings by approximately $53 million primarily due to mild early-summer temperatures compared to extremely warm early-summer temperatures in the year-ago period.
The Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution segment reported operating income of $37 million in the second quarter compared with $33 million in the year-ago quarter. The year-over-year improvement reflected increased earnings on infrastructure investments
The Ameren Illinois Natural Gas segment reported operating income of $1 million compared with $7 million in the year-ago quarter. The year-over-year decline was primarily due to a change in rate design, which is not expected to impact full-year results.
The Ameren Transmission segment reported operating income of $42 million in the second quarter compared with $36 million in the year-ago quarter. The year-over-year improvement reflected increased earnings on infrastructure investments.
Ameren Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
The company reported cash and cash equivalents of $6 million as on Jun 30, 2019, compared with $16 million at 2018 end.
As of Jun 30, 2019, long-term debt totaled $8,222 million compared with $7,859 million as on Dec 31, 2018.
In the first half of 2019, cash from operating activities amounted to $879 million compared with $820 generated in the first half of 2018.
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 $3.26, which lies above the mid-point of the company’s guided range.
Ameren currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Recent Utility Releases
American Electric Power Co., Inc. (AEP - Free Report) , a Zacks Rank #3 stock, reported second-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings per share of $1.00, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 98 cents by 2%.
NextEra Energy (NEE - Free Report) , a Zacks Rank #3 stock, reported second-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of $2.35 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.28 by 3.1%. Moreover, earnings were up 12.9% on a year-over-year basis.
CMS Energy Corporation (CMS - Free Report) , a Zacks Rank #3 stock, reported second-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings per share of 33 cents, down 32.7% year over year. The bottom line also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 44 cents by 25%.
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