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Alliant Energy (LNT) Q1 Earnings Beat, Sales Decline Y/Y

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Alliant Energy Corporation (LNT - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2020 operating earnings of 72 cents per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 55 cents by 30.9%. Earnings also improved 35.8% year over year.

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

GAAP earnings in the reported quarter were 70 cents compared with 53 cents per share in the year-ago period. The difference between GAAP and operating earnings was due to a charge of 2 cents related to credit loss.

Total Revenues

Total first-quarter revenues came in at $915.7 million, declining 7.2% year over year.

Alliant Energy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Alliant Energy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Alliant Energy Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Alliant Energy Corporation Quote

Operational Highlights

Total operating expenses were $727.4 million in the reported quarter, decreasing 10.3% from $810.4 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 $188.3 million, up 6.5% from $176.8 million in the year-ago quarter.

Interest expenses were $68.9 million, increasing 3.9% from $66.3 million in the prior-year quarter.

During the first 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 volumes sold, which improved 0.6% year over year. However, due to lower consumption from residential, commercial and industrial customer classes, gas volumes dropped 1.8% year over year.

Financial Update

Cash and cash equivalents were $55.2 million as of Mar 31, 2020, up from $16.3 million on Dec 31, 2019.

Long-term debt (excluding current portion) was $5,833.9 million as of Mar 31, 2020, higher than $5,533 million on Dec 31, 2019.

In the first three months of 2020, cash flow from operating activities was $160.2 million compared with $181.1 million in the comparable year-ago period.

Guidance

Alliant Energy reiterated its 2020 earnings guidance in the range of $2.34-$2.48 per share. The guidance takes into account normal temperature in its service territories, and commercial and industrial sales decline due to COVID-19, offset by higher residential sales through June, with gradual sales improvement through the end of year.

Zacks Rank

Currently, Alliant Energy carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other Releases

Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL - Free Report) posted first-quarter 2020 operating earnings of 56 cents per share, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 59 cents by 5.1%.

FirstEnergy Corporation (FE - Free Report) came up with first-quarter 2020 operating earnings of 66 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 64 cents by 3.1%.

Dominion Energy Inc. (D - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2020 operating earnings of $1.09 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.

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