Ameren Corporation’s (AEE - Free Report) third-quarter 2019 earnings of $1.47 per share from continuing operations surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.46 by 0.7%. However, the bottom line declined 2% from the year-ago quarter’s $1.50 per share.
Total revenues came in at $1,659 million in the reported quarter, which declined 3.9% year over year due to lower electric and natural gas sales volume. The reported figure also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,752 million by 5.3%.
Highlights of the Release
Ameren’s total electricity sales volume declined 5.6% to 20,355 million kilowatt hours (kWh) compared with 21,568 million kWh in the year-ago quarter. However, gas volumes stood at 28 million dekatherms during the third quarter.
Total operating expenses summed $1,139 million, down 4.4% year over year from $1,191 million. Interest expenses were $96 million compared with $101 million a year ago.
The company’s operating income declined 2.4% to $520 million from $533 million in the year-ago quarter.
The Ameren Missouri segment reported operating income of $300 million in the third quarter compared with $298 million in the year-ago quarter. The year-over-year rise reflected 2019 energy efficiency performance incentives of $13 million.
The Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution segment reported operating income of $32 million in the third quarter compared with $38 million in the year-ago quarter. The year-over-year decline reflected a lower allowed return on equity due to a lower projected average 30-year U.S. Treasury bond yield in 2019 compared to 2018.
The Ameren Illinois Natural Gas segment reported an operating loss of $1 million against the operating income of $1 million in the year-ago quarter. The year-over-year decline was because of a change in rate design.
The Ameren Transmission segment reported operating income of $53 million in the third quarter compared with $48 million in the year-ago quarter. The improvement reflected increased earnings on infrastructure investments.
The company reported cash and cash equivalents of $20 million as of Sep 30, 2019, compared with $16 million at the 2018-end.
As of Sep 30, 2019, long-term debt totaled $8,651 million compared with $7,859 million as of Dec 31, 2018.
In the first nine months of 2019, cash from operating activities amounted to $1,668 million compared with $1,686 in the first nine months of 2018.
Ameren Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Ameren has narrowed its 2019 guidance. The company expects earnings of $3.23-$3.33 per share compared to the earlier guidance of $3.15-$3.35. Currently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2019 earnings is pegged at $3.25, which lies below the mid-point of the company’s guided range.
Ameren 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
NextEra Energy (NEE - Free Report) reported third-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of $2.39 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.27 by 5.3%. Moreover, earnings rose 10.1% on a year-over-year basis.
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