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FirstEnergy (FE) Beats on Q1 Earnings, Revenues Fall Y/Y

Diversified energy company FirstEnergy Corporation FE announced first-quarter 2016 operating earnings of 80 cents per share, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 76 cents by 5.3% and surging 29% from the prior-year figure of 62 cents.

The upside reflects higher operating earnings at the company’s Competitive Energy Services Segment backed by an increase in capacity revenues, sales volume growth, and lower purchased power and fuel expenses. Operating earnings at the transmission business also grew backed by rate base growth, partially offset by the impact of a mild weather and higher financing costs.

FirstEnergy reported GAAP earnings of 77 cents per share, up from the prior-year figure of 53 cents.

 

Total Revenue

FirstEnergy generated total revenue of $3,869 million, slightly lower than $3,898 million reported a year ago.

Highlights of the Release

Total electric sales decreased by 3,161 thousand megawatt-hours (MWh), or 7.8% year over year. Residential sales declined by 2,226 thousand MWh (13.4%), while commercial sales was down by 572 thousand MWh (5.1%). The decline was primarily due to lower weather-related usage as heating degree days were 25% below as compared to last year. Industrial sales were also down 363 thousand MWh, or 2.8%, primarily due to lower usage in the steel and coal mining sectors, partially offset by increased usage in the shale gas sector.

For the first quarter, FirstEnergy reported operating income of $781 million, up 21.7% from $642 million a year ago.

Interest expenses in the quarter were $288 million, up 3.2% from $279 million a year ago due to debt issuances.

Financial Update

FirstEnergy's cash on hand as of Mar 31, 2016 was $146 million, up from $131 million as of Dec 31, 2015.

Cash from operating activities was $638 million, compared with $193 million a year ago.

Long-term debt and other long-term obligations as of Mar 31, 2016 were $18,878 million, compared with $19,099 million a year ago.

Upcoming Peer Releases

Edison International EIX is scheduled to report results after market closes on May 2, 2016. The Zacks Consensus Estimates stands at 90 cents.

NiSource Inc. NI is scheduled to report results before market opens on May 3. The Zacks Consensus Estimates is pegged at 56 cents.

Spark Energy, Inc. SPKE is scheduled to report results on May 11. The Zacks Consensus Estimates stands at 84 cents.

Zacks Rank

FirstEnergy currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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NISOURCE INC (NI): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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