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Duke Energy (DUK) to Report Q1 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

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Duke Energy Corporation (DUK - Free Report) is set to report first-quarter 2020 results on May 12, before the opening bell. In the last-reported quarter, the company delivered a positive earnings surprise of 3.41%.

Moreover, the bottom line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters by 6.53%, on average.

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

Factors to Consider

Duke Energy’s broad array of energy efficiency programs in the Carolinas has been consistently contributing to the company’s revenue growth. Favorable rate cases must also have boosted Duke Energy’s top line in the soon-to-be-reported quarter.

Duke Energy Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Duke Energy Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Duke Energy Corporation price-eps-surprise | Duke Energy Corporation Quote

Moreover, impressive performance of its commercial renewables business as well as local distribution company (LDC) business that has been boosting customer growth is likely to have bolstered the company’s revenues in the first quarter. In particular, its 100-megawatt-alternating current Lapetus Solar project in Andrews County, TX, began commercial operation in December 2019, which may have had a positive impact on the company’s first- quarter performance.

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

Currently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter revenues is pegged at $6.27 billion, indicating 1.7% rise from the figure reported in the year-ago quarter.

Gas LDCs are expected to have boosted Duke Energy’s quarterly earnings on account of customer growth, investments in integrity management and power generation infrastructure as well as a positive outcome in the Piedmont's North Carolina rate case in the fourth quarter.

However, a few storm activities that hit the company’s service areas during the quarter might have weighed on its bottom line. For instance, in February, a powerful two-day storm including tornados caused severe damage to the company’s utility poles and power lines. Repairing these may have pushed up its operating expenses, thereby dragging down earnings in the first quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pegged at $1.21 per share, suggesting 2.4% decline from the year-earlier quarter’s reported figure.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively predict 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. This is not the case here.

Earnings ESP: Duke Energy has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. 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.

Recent Utility Releases

American Electric Power Co., Inc. (AEP - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings per share of $1.02, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.09 by 6.4%.

NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG - Free Report) delivered earnings of 55 cents per share from continuing operations in first-quarter 2020, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 75 cents by 26.6%.

Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PEG - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2020 adjusted operating earnings of $1.03 per share, which came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

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