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PPL Corp. (PPL) Beats Q3 Earnings Estimates on New Rates

PPL Corporation PPL reported third-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of 56 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 53 cents by 5.7%. Earnings benefited from the new electricity and gas rates effective from the third quarter.

However, earnings declined 11.1% year over year, primarily due to lower foreign currency exchange rates and unfavorable weather in the United States.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported earnings per share of 51 cents in the quarter compared with 69 cents a year ago. The difference between GAAP and operating earnings in the reported quarter was due to a loss of 5 cents from foreign currency-related economic hedges.

Total Revenues

PPL Corp.’s total revenues were $1,845 million in the third quarter, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,895 million by 2.6%. Revenues also decreased 2.3% year over year.

PPL Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

 

PPL Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | PPL Corporation Quote

Segment Results

U.K. Regulated: Adjusted earnings decreased 31.4% year over year to 24 cents per share.

Kentucky Regulated: Adjusted earnings were 18 cents, in line with the year-ago quarter. Higher base electricity and gas rates effective Jul 1, 2017, were offset by lower sales volumes due to unfavorable weather.

Pennsylvania Regulated: Adjusted earnings in the quarter were 13 cents, in line with the year- ago quarter. Higher transmission earnings due to additional capital investments and lower operation and maintenance expenses were offset by lower sales volumes due to unfavorable weather

Corporate and Other: It includes unallocated corporate-level financing and other costs. The segment reported a gain of 1 cents for the quarter against a loss of 3 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Operational Highlights

PPL Corp.’s total operating expenses decreased 3.2% year over year to $ 1,068 million in the reported quarter.

The company reported operating income of $777 million, down 1.1% from $786 million a year ago.

Interest expenses increased 3.1% to $230 million from $223 million a year ago.

Financial Position

As of Sep 30, 2017, PPL Corp. had cash and cash equivalents of $676 million compared with $341 million as of Dec 31, 2016.

Long-term debt (excluding debts due within one year) was $19,110 million as of Sep 30, 2017, compared with $17,808 million at the end of 2016.

In the first nine months of 2017, net cash flow from operating activities was $1,754 million compared with $2,230 million in the prior-year period.

Guidance

PPL Corp. raised its 2017 adjusted earnings guidance in the range of $2.10 to $2.25 per share from the prior expectation of $2.05-$2.25, taking into consideration better-than-expected U.K. Regulated segment performance.

The midpoints of the 2017 adjusted earnings guidance for the U.K. Regulated, Kentucky Regulated and Pennsylvania Regulated segments are $1.24, 56 cents and 50 cents, respectively. For the Corporate & Other segment, the midpoint of the full-year projection is at a loss of 11 cents per share.

The company also reaffirmed its compound earnings growth guidance of 5% to 6% from 2017 through 2020.

Zacks Rank

PPL Corp. currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
 
Peer Releases

WEC Energy Group WEC, a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock, reported third-quarter 2017 operating earnings of 68 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 67 cents by 1.5%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

NextEra Energy, Inc. NEE, a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock, reported third-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of $1.85 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.77 by 5.7%.

FirstEnergy Corp. FE, a Zacks Rank #3 stock, reported operating earnings of 97 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 86 cents by 12.8%.

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