Xcel Energy Inc. ( XEL Quick Quote XEL - Free Report) posted fourth-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 56 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 53 cents by 5.6%. For 2019, the company reported earnings of $2.64, up 6.8% from $2.47 in 2018. The upside can be attributed to higher electric margins, courtesy of favorable non-fuel riders and regulatory rate outcomes as well as natural gas margins and lower O&M expenses. However, these factors were partially offset by lower AFUDC, increased depreciation and interest expenses. Total Revenues Xcel Energy’s fourth-quarter revenues of $2,798 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,178 million by 11.9%. Revenues fell 2.8% from the prior-year quarter’s tally of $2,880 million. Xcel Energy’s total operating revenues for 2019 was $11,529 million, down 0.06% from $11,537 million in 2018.
Segment Results Electric: Revenues declined 3% to $2,231 million from $2,300 million in the last reported quarter. Natural Gas: Revenues fell 2.5% to $544 million from the year-ago quarter’s tally. Other: Revenues in the segment amounted to $23 million in the quarter, up by a penny from the year-ago quarter’s figure. Quarterly Highlights Total operating expenses fell 7.6% year over year to $2,348 million. Operating income in the reported quarter increased 32.7% from the prior-year quarter’s tally to $450 million. Total interest charges and financing costs in the reported quarter rose 13.5% from the prior-year quarter’s figure to $185 million. Looking Ahead Xcel Energy reaffirmed 2020 earnings per share guidance in the range of $2.73-$2.83 and long-term earnings growth in the band of 5-7% from a 2019 base of $2.60 (mid-point of the original 2019 guidance range) per share. The mid-point of the current earnings guidance range is $2.78, which is in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 earnings. Xcel Energy projects an annual increase in dividend rate in the range of 5-7%. Zacks Rank Xcel Energy carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Utility Release NextEra Energy, Inc. NEE reported fourth-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of $1.44 per share, which lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.54 by 6.5%. Upcoming Releases Exelon Corp. EXC is slated to report fourth-quarter 2019 results on Feb 11. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the to-be-reported quarter’s earnings is pegged at 72 cents per share. Dominion Energy D is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2019 results on Feb 11. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter earnings is pegged at $1.16 cents per share. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $775 billion by 2024 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Our recent biotech recommendations have produced gains of +50%, +83% and +164% in as little as 2 months. The stocks in this report could perform even better. See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>