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Duke Energy (DUK) to Report Q4 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

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Duke Energy Corporation (DUK - Free Report) is set to report fourth-quarter 2019 results on Feb 13, before the opening bell.

In the last reported quarter, the company delivered a positive earnings surprise of 5.92%. Moreover, the bottom line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters by 4.27%, on average.

Let’s see how things have shaped up prior to this announcement.

Factors to Consider

Duke Energy’s steady investments in the energy grid, cleaner generation and natural gas infrastructure are expected to have helped it offer uninterrupted electricity to its customers during the fourth quarter.

Moreover, in its commercial renewables business, Duke Energy’s portfolio consisted of more than 1,500 megawatts of new wind and solar projects, as of November 2019. Considering the company’s relentless efforts to enhance its renewable portfolio significantly, we may expect it to have made further progress in the renewable business during the soon-to-be-reported quarter, thereby boosting its top line.

However, majority of Duke Energy’s service territories witnessed above-average warm temperatures during most part of the fourth quarter. This may have marred its revenue growth, since warm temperature in winter means less usage of heating appliances.

Currently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter revenues is pegged at $6.25 billion, indicating a 2.2% rise from the figure reported in the year-ago quarter.

Duke Energy has been taking initiatives to control its traditional operation and maintenance costs, lately. We expect this initiative to have positively impacted the company’s bottom line in the fourth quarter.

Moreover, the company's gas utilities and infrastructure business, backed by growth in Midstream investments, and the LDC business are projected to have made notable earnings contribution in the fourth quarter.  

Considering the aforementioned developments, the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at 88 cents per share, suggesting 4.8% growth from the year-earlier quarter’s reported figure of 84 cents.

Duke Energy Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model predicts an earnings beat for Duke Energy this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the chances of an earnings beat.

Earnings ESP: Duke Energy has an Earnings ESP of +0.38%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: The company carries a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Stocks to Consider

Here are a few players from the Utilities sector that have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat in the to-be-reported quarter.

Ameren Corp AEE has an Earnings ESP of +2.73% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will announce fourth-quarter 2019 earnings on Feb 26.

The AES Corp AES has an Earnings ESP of +0.76% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will announce fourth-quarter 2019 earnings on Feb 28.

CenterPoint Energy CNP has an Earnings ESP of +1.09% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will announce fourth-quarter 2019 earnings on Feb 27.

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