PPL Corporation PPL delivered fourth-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of 57 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 53 cents by 7.5%. The figure improved 9.6% year over year, primarily due to higher earnings in the Pennsylvania and Kentucky Regulated segments. On a GAAP basis, the company generated EPS of 48 cents compared with 57 cents in the year-ago quarter. In 2019, the company delivered adjusted earnings of $2.45 per share, up 2% from $2.40 in 2018. Total Revenues PPL Corp posted revenues of $1,954 million in the fourth quarter, which inched up 0.8% year over year. In 2019, the company posted revenues of $7,769 million down 0.2% from $7,785 million in 2018.
Segment Results U.K. Regulated: Adjusted earnings increased 9.4% from the prior-year quarter’s tally to 35 cents per share. The upside was primarily supported by higher prices and higher pension income. Kentucky Regulated: Adjusted earnings were 10 cents, down from 11 cents in the year-ago quarter. The decline was primarily caused by higher operation and maintenance expenses, lower sales volumes primarily due to weather, higher depreciation expenses and higher interest expenses. Pennsylvania Regulated: Adjusted earnings improved 23% from the prior-year quarter’s tally to 16 cents. The results benefited from returns on additional capital investments in transmission as well as lower operation and maintenance expenses. Corporate and Other: The segment reported a loss of 4 cents in the quarter, which was in line with the prior-year quarter’s figure. Operational Highlights PPL Corp’s total operating expenses inched down 1.6% year over year to $ 1,261 million in the reported quarter. The company reported operating income of $693 million, up 5.5% than $657 million in the prior-year quarter. Interest expenses inched up 1.2% to $248 million from the year-ago quarter’s tally of $245 million. Financial Position As of Dec 31, 2019, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $815 million compared with $621 million as of Dec 31, 2018. Long-term debt (excluding debts due within a year) was $20,721 million as of Dec 31, 2019 compared with $20,069 million at the end of 2018. Net cash flow from operating activities at the end of 2019 was $2,427 million compared with $2,821 million in 2018. Guidance PPL Corp announced guidance for 2020 EPS from ongoing operations in the range of $2.40-$2.60 with a midpoint of $2.50, which is lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.54. The company also updated its 2021 EPS guidance in the range of $2.40 -$2.60 per share from the prior range of $2.50- $2.80, reflecting lower expected foreign currency exchange rate forecasts. Zacks Rank Currently, PPL Corp carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Other Utility Releases FirstEnergy Corporation FE released fourth-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 55 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 48 cents by 14.6%. Dominion Energy Inc. ( D Quick Quote D - Free Report) reported fourth-quarter 2019 operating earnings of $1.18 per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.16 by 1.7%. Exelon Corporation’s EXC fourth-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 83 cents per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 73 cents by 13.6%. Looking for Stocks with Skyrocketing Upside? Zacks has just released a Special Report on the booming investment opportunities of legal marijuana. Ignited by new referendums and legislation, this industry is expected to blast from an already robust $6.7 billion to $20.2 billion in 2021. Early investors stand to make a killing, but you have to be ready to act and know just where to look. See the pot trades we're targeting>>