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Why Is Alliant Energy (LNT) Down 31.7% Since Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Alliant Energy (LNT - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 31.7% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Alliant Energy due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Alliant Energy's Q4 Earnings & Revenues Improve Y/Y

Alliant Energy Corporation reported fourth-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 44 cents per share, increasing from the year-ago figure of 36 cents by 22.2%.

The year-over-year growth in earnings was attributable to increasing rate base at Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), and Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL).

Full-year earnings of $2.31 per share came within the guided range of $2.27-$2.33.

Total Revenues

Total revenues in the fourth quarter came in at $880.1 million, improving 0.8% year over year.

Operational Highlights

Total operating expenses were $719.2 million in the reported quarter, decreasing 4.4% from $752.1 million in the year-ago period. The decline was due to lower costs of electric production fuel and purchased power in the reported quarter.

Operating income was $160.9 million, up 32.5% from $121.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Interest expenses were $69.1 million, increasing 9.3% from $63.2 million in the prior-year quarter.

During the fourth quarter, the company’s retail electric and gas utility customers grew 0.6% and 0.5% year over year, respectively. The increase in its customer count had a positive impact on electric and natural gas volumes sold, which improved 3.9% and 11% year over year, respectively.

Financial Update

Cash and cash equivalents were $16.3 million as of Dec 31, 2019, down from $20.9 million in the corresponding period of 2018.

Long-term debt (excluding current portion) was $5,533 million as of Dec 31, 2019, higher than $5,246.3 million in the comparable period of 2018.

In 2019, cash flow from operating activities was $660.4 million compared with $527.7 million a year ago.

Guidance

Alliant Energy reiterated its 2020 earnings guidance in the range of $2.34-$2.48 per share. The guidance takes into account positive regulatory outcome at IPL, stable economy, proper execution of cost-control measures and normal temperature in its service territories.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

Analysts were quiet during the last two month period as none of them issued any earnings estimate revisions.


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