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Will a Mild Winter Hurt CMS Energy (CMS) Earnings in Q1?

CMS Energy Corporation CMS will release first-quarter 2016 financial results before the opening bell on Apr 28, 2016. In the prior quarter, this utility delivered an earnings surprise of 0.00%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors at Play

CMS Energy’s subsidiary Consumers Energy serves 1.8 million customers in 62 of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula counties. The company continues to make investments that are aimed at enhancing service reliability and effectively meeting customer demand.

The company plans to spend $17 billion between 2016 and 2025, the majority of which will be directed toward infrastructure development projects. These initiatives will enable the company to provide reliable services to its customers and achieve its long-term EPS growth target of 5–7% in 2016 and 6–8% in 2017.

Moreover, the company has been successfully executing cost-saving initiatives for the last eight years. CMS Energy further projects to reduce these costs by at least 10% by 2018.

However, the milder-than-expected winter might adversely impact first-quarter 2016 sales.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that CMS Energy will beat earnings. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold) for this to happen. But that is not the case here, as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is -18.06%. This is because the Most Accurate estimate stands at 59 cents, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged higher at 72 cents.

Zacks Rank: Though CMS Energy’s Zacks Rank #2 increases the predictive power of the ESP, we need a positive ESP to be confident of an earnings beat.

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

Stocks to Consider

Here are some companies you may want to consider as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.

Pattern Energy Group Inc. PEGI has an earnings ESP of +466.67% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is expected to release first-quarter 2016 earnings results on May 5.

Spark Energy, Inc. SPKE has an earnings ESP of +53.57% and a Zacks Rank #1. The company is expected to release first-quarter 2016 earnings results on May 11.

Consolidated Edison, Inc. ED has an earnings ESP of +0.83% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is expected to release first-quarter 2016 earnings results on May 5.

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CMS ENERGY (CMS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
CONSOL EDISON (ED): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PATTERN ENERGY (PEGI): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SPARK ENERGY (SPKE): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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