Exelon Corporation’s (EXC - Free Report) fourth-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 83 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 73 cents by 13.6%. Also, the reported earnings were 43.1% higher than the year-ago figure of 58 cents.
The year-over-year increase in earnings was due to rate increases at PECO, BGE and PHI, lower operating expenses, higher realized energy prices and decrease in nuclear outage days.
On a GAAP basis, its quarterly earnings were 79 cents per share compared with 16 cents in the year-ago quarter.
Exelon's total revenues of $8,343 million lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9,231 million by 9.6%. The top line also declined 5.3% from the year-ago figure of $8,812 million. The year-over-year decline in revenues was due to lower contribution from Generation, BGE and ComEd businesses.
Highlights of the Release
Exelon's total operating expenses decreased 8.8% year over year to $7,394 million. The decline in total expenses was due to lower power and fuel costs, as well as operating and maintenance expenses.
Interest expenses were $395 million, down 5.1% from $416 million in the year-ago quarter.
The company efficiently served 0.9% and 1% more electric and natural gas customers, respectively, than 2018 levels.
Exelon's hedging program involves safeguarding of commodity risks for expected generation, typically on a ratable basis, over a three-year period. The proportion of expected generation hedged as of Dec 31, 2019 was 91-94% for 2020 and 61-64% for 2021.
Cash and cash equivalents were $587 million as of Dec 31, 2019 compared with $1,349 million in the corresponding period of 2018.
Long-term debt was $31,329 million as of Dec 31, 2019 compared with $34,075 million in the comparable period of 2018.
Cash from operating activities in 2019 was $6,659 million compared with $8,644 million in 2018.
Exelon’s guidance for 2020 earnings is projected in the range of $3.00-$3.30 per share. The company recorded earnings of $3.22 per share in 2019. The midpoint of the above guided range is $3.15, higher than the current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the period of $3.02. Exelon plans to invest $26 billion in the 2020-2023 time period to strengthen existing operations.
Exelon currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of $1.44 per share, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.54 by 6.5%.
FirstEnergy Corporation (FE - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 55 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 48 cents by 14.6%.
WEC Energy Group (WEC - Free Report) came up with fourth-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings per share of 77 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 72 cents by 6.9%.
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