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TECO Energy (TE) Scales 52-Week High on Robust Results

TECO Energy, Inc. TE hit a new 52-week high of $27.73 in the last trading session, before closing slightly lower at $27.72. Tampa, FL-based TECO Energy is an energy holding company which, together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity in the U.S. The stock has delivered a one-year return of about 47.5%.

Over the past 52 weeks, TECO Energy’s shares have ranged from a low of $17.60 on Jun 30, 2015 to a high of $27.73 on Apr 14, 2016. The average volume of shares traded over the last three months is approximately 2.6 million.

What is Driving TECO Energy Upward?

TECO Energy’s shares have been on the rise ever since the company reported fourth-quarter 2015 results on Feb 4. Its earnings of 23 cents per share in the quarter came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate but surpassed the year-ago figure by a wide 21.1%. Again, full-year earnings of $1.10 per share were on par with the Zacks Consensus Estimate but were 6.8% higher than the year-ago quarter figure.

Importantly, TECO Energy has been gaining traction due to a rising customer count. In fact, the company has consistently added customers over the last several quarters. In 2015, the Tampa Electric business witnessed 1.8% year-over-year growth in its customer count, while the Peoples Gas System (PGS) division saw a 2.1% increase. Meanwhile, New Mexico Gas Company (NMGC) recorded a 0.7% improvement in its customer count. For 2016, TECO Energy expects earnings to continue being driven by customer growth across all three of its utilities.

Going forward, increasing employment opportunities and the roll-out of the new single-family building permits, backed by a gradual recovery in the Florida economy, are expected to further boost demand for utility services.

TECO Energy also plans to invest significantly in new generation and transmission ventures, which will drive its performance over the long haul. Systematic investments in electricity distribution and generation activities will lead to service reliability, thereby enabling the company to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

The company is also focused on clean energy generation, which is evidenced by its investments in solar projects and compressed natural gas (CNG) stations. Tampa Electric recently completed the construction of a 2-MW facility at Tampa International Airport and announced its plans to build a 23-MW solar facility at the Big Bend power station. These initiatives will not only enable TECO Energy to meet carbon mandates, but also open up new sources of top-line growth.

TECO Energy currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Stocks to Consider

A couple of top-ranked peers in the same space are Atlantic Power Corporation AT and Black Hills Corporation BKH, both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Another well-ranked stock is Calpine Corporation CPN, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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TECO ENERGY (TE): Free Stock Analysis Report
CALPINE CORP (CPN): Free Stock Analysis Report
BLACK HILLS COR (BKH): Free Stock Analysis Report
ATLANTIC PWR CP (AT): Free Stock Analysis Report
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