Alliant Energy Corporation’s (LNT - Free Report) investment in regulated natural gas and renewable energy assets as well as strong state economies in its service territories are tailwinds.
This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) utility is a promising option to invest as it continues to boost shareholders’ value on a regular basis.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 earnings per share is pegged at $2.26 on $3.7-billion revenues. The bottom and the top lines are expected to rise year over year, which indicates increase of 3.92% and 4.68%, respectively.
The consensus mark for 2020 earnings is pegged at $2.43 per share on revenues of $3.88 billion. While the bottom line suggests a 7.76% increase, the top line calls for a 4.84% improvement on a year-over-year basis.
The company’s long-term (three to five years) earnings growth is pegged at 5.54%.
Systematic Investment & Renewable Focus
To strengthen electric and natural gas distribution network as well as renewable and natural gas-based electricity generation, Alliant Energy is making systematic investments. The company plans to invest $5 billion during the next four years in electric and natural gas distribution as well as generation portfolio. It plans to invest nearly $2.2 billion in the electric distribution business and $645 million in gas systems in the next four years to strengthen infrastructure.
The company plans to invest nearly $1 billion in new renewable projects and double the number of its wind sites from six to 12. Courtesy of new construction and acquisitions, the company's energy portfolio will have more than 1,000 megawatts of wind power by 2020.
In the past one year, shares of Alliant Energy have surged 17.4% compared with the industry’s growth of 11.2%. The return is higher than the S&P 500 index’s 3.1% in the said period.
Price Performance (One Year)
The company has is paying dividends on a regular basis since 1946. Nearly 99% earnings of the company are generated from regulated operations, which provide excellent visibility of upcoming earnings. It currently targets long-term annual earnings growth in the range of 5-7% from 2018 levels. Alliant Energy has a long-term dividend payout target of 60-70%.
The current dividend yield of the company is 2.75%, higher than the S&P 500 average of 1.89%.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other top-ranked stocks in the utility sector are IDACORP Inc (IDA - Free Report) , NRG Energy, Inc (NRG - Free Report) and The AES Corporation (AES - Free Report) , each holding a Zacks #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
IDACORP, NRG Energy and AES Corporation delivered average positive earnings surprise of 7.79%, 11.64% and 4.85%, respectively, in the last four quarters.
Long-term earnings growth for IDACORP, NRG Energy and AES Corporation is pegged at 3.80%, 36.30% and 8.50%, respectively.
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