The third-quarter earnings season so far has been promising for the Utilities sector. Notably, 46.4% of companies in this sector have already reported results, recording an earnings beat ratio of 61.5% and a revenue beat ratio of 23.1%.
Key Factors to Note
The Fed’s decision to lower interest rates in July and September is likely to have acted as a key catalyst for the capital-intensive utility stocks. These rate cuts are expected to have lowered utilities’ cost of capital, which, in turn, is likely to have supported margins and revenues.
Factors like new rates in the stocks’ service territories, customer growth, coupled with effective management and control of expenses through the introduction of technologies, are likely to have boosted third-quarter earnings for utilities. Moreover, focus on the addition of energy storage projects, launch of technologies to maintain transmission and distribution lines, along with the gradual introduction of smart meters, have improved service quality and reliability. Customer growth and new rates in their service territories are likely to have driven Utilities’ third- quarter earnings.
For the domestic-focused, matured Utility sector, total third-quarter earnings are expected to improve 7.8% year over year on 0.2% higher revenues.
Notably, Utilities is one of the seven Zacks sectors (out of 16) that are likely to come up with improved year-over-year earnings in the current reporting cycle. For more details on quarterly releases, you can go through the latest Earnings Preview.
Utilities to Watch
Let’s take a look at four Utility stocks, which are scheduled to report third-quarter 2019 results on Nov 7.
CenterPoint Energy (CNP - Free Report) delivered a positive earnings surprise of 12.9% in the last reported quarter. The company has been adding customers to its network for a while now, boosting the top line. CenterPoint Energy also closed a $1.2- billion offering of senior notes, in August, which is expected to have lowered its interest expenses in the third quarter.
According to the Zacks model, a company needs the right combination of two key ingredients — a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or better — to increase the odds of an earnings surprise. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
CenterPoint Energy has a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of +0.12% (read more: What's in Store for CenterPoint Energy Q3 Earnings?)
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG - Free Report) delivered a positive earnings surprise in the last four quarters by 11.64% on average. The acquisition of Stream Energy and the execution of nearly 1.3 gigawatts of solar power purchase agreement generator are likely to have positively impacted NRG Energy’s third-quarter performance. However, a milder-than-normal summer is likely to have hurt the company’s performance.
NRG Energy has a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of 0.00% (read more: NRG Energy to Post Q3 Earnings: What's in the Cards?).
NRG Energy, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (PNW - Free Report) delivered a negative earnings surprise of 10.49% in the last reported quarter. The company has operations in the Metro Phoenix area, which continues to show strong economic activities and job growth. The job addition has been consistently above the national average. Solid job growth is expected to have increased demand for the company’s services. These factors are likely to reflect on Pinnacle West’s third-quarter performance.
Pinnacle West has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #3. (read more: Pinnacle West to Post Q3 Earnings: What's in Store?).
Pinnacle West Capital Corporation Price and EPS Surprise
OGE Energy Corporation (OGE - Free Report) delivered a positive earnings surprise of 4.17% in the last reported quarter. For the last few quarters, the company has been adding customers, which in turn have been boosting sales. The company’s top- line results will likely reflect benefits from these additions.
OGE Energy has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
OGE Energy Corporation Price and EPS Surprise
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