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Will WEC Energy (WEC) Earnings Surprise Estimates in Q1?

WEC Energy Group Inc. WEC will release first-quarter 2016 financial results before the market opens on May 3, 2016. In the prior quarter, this diversified utility’s earnings were on par with Zacks Consensus Estimate. Let’s see how things are shaping up at the company prior to this announcement.

Factors to Consider
 
WEC Energy Group has plans to strengthen its infrastructure and expects the company  to register earnings growth of 6% to 8% this year. Also, cost control measures undertaken by the company are expected to benefit it in 2016.

WEC Energy Group expects earnings per share in first–quarter 2016 to be in the range of 99 cents to $1.03, assuming normal weather during the quarter excluding January. However, we believe the warmer-than-expected average temperature in the first quarter to adversely impact demand for electricity and natural gas.

Surprise History

The above chart indicates that WEC Energy Group was able to deliver positive surprises in three out of the last four quarters. The average positive surprise was 5.11%.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that WEC Energy Group is likely to beat estimates this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. This is not the case here.

Zacks ESP: This is because the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate are both pegged at $1.02, resulting in 0.00% ESP.

Zacks Rank: Though Wisconsin Energy’s Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of the ESP, its 0.00% ESP makes a beat uncertain this quarter.

We caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell rated) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks to Consider

Stocks in the utility space worth considering on the basis of our model are as follows:

Pinnacle West Capital Corp. PNW has an earnings ESP of +7.69% and a Zacks Rank #3. It is expected to report earnings on Apr 29, 2016.

Consolidated Edison, Inc. ED has an earnings ESP of +0.82% and a Zacks Rank #3. It is expected to report earnings on May 5, 2016.

Pattern Energy Group Inc. PEGI has an earnings ESP of +466.67% and a Zacks Rank #3. It is expected to report earnings on May 5, 2016.

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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
WEC ENERGY GRP (WEC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PINNACLE WEST (PNW): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CONSOL EDISON (ED): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PATTERN ENERGY (PEGI): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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