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Will NRG Energy (NRG) Disappoint Estimates in Q1 Earnings?

NRG Energy Inc. NRG will release first-quarter 2016 financial results before the market opens on May 5, 2016. In the prior quarter, this electric utility reported a negative earnings surprise of 47.37%. Let’s see how things are shaping up at the company prior to this announcement.

Factors to Consider
 
Amid difficult power market conditions, NRG Energy resorted to cost reduction programs and lowered its annual dividend rate to maintain financial flexibility this year.

NRG Energy also made plans to sell non-core assets worth $500 million in 2016, out which an agreement to sell assets worth $138 million was made during the first quarter. The company is concentrating on fleet modernization, which will help it to serve its customer base and lower the capital expenditure requirement.

Surprise History

The above chart indicates that NRG Energy was able to deliver positive surprises in only one out of the last four quarters. This resulted in an average negative surprise of 185.24%.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that NRG Energy is likely to beat earnings 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 both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate are pegged at a loss of 25 cents, resulting in 0.00% ESP.

Zacks Rank: Though NRG 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:

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. HE has an earnings ESP of +2.7% and a Zacks Rank #3. It is expected to report earnings on May 4, 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
 
HAWAIIAN ELEC (HE): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CONSOL EDISON (ED): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
NRG ENERGY INC (NRG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PATTERN ENERGY (PEGI): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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