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Ameren (AEE) Misses on Q3 Earnings, Narrows '17 Outlook

Ameren Corporation AEE posted third-quarter 2017 earnings from continuing operations of $1.24 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.31 by 5.3%. The bottom line also declined 18.4% year over year, primarily due to a change in the timing of interim period revenue recognition at Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution.

Total Revenues

Total revenues of $1,723 million in the reported quarter were down 7.3% year over year owing to lower electric as well as natural gas sales volumes.

Highlights of the Release

Ameren’s total electricity sales in the quarter decreased 1.8% to 21,009 million kilowatt hours (kWh) from 21,398 million kWh in the prior-year quarter. Gas volumes were flat at 29 million dekatherms with the prior-year quarter.

Total operating expenses were $1,142 million, down 2.2% year over year.

Interest expenses were $97 million in line with the year-ago figure.

Ameren Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

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

Financial Condition

Ameren reported cash and cash equivalents of $9 million as of Sep 30 compared with $9 million at 2016 end.

Long-term debt as of Sep 30 was $6,922 million compared with $6,821 million as of Dec 31, 2016.

Cash from operating activities in the nine months of the year was $1,643 million compared with $1,559 million in the prior-year period.

Guidance

Ameren narrowed its 2017 core diluted earnings per share to be in a range of $2.73-$2.87 compared with $2.65-$2.85, guided earlier.

Zacks Rank

Ameren carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Peer Releases

Entergy Corporation ETR reported third-quarter 2017 operational earnings of $2.35 per share beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.24 by 4.9%. The reported number improved 1.7% from the year-ago figure. The company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

DTE Energy Company DTE reported third-quarter 2017 operating earnings per share (EPS) of $1.48, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.53 by 3.3%. Operating earnings also declined 24.5% from the year-ago figure of $1.96. The company holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

American Electric Power Co., Inc. AEP reported third-quarter 2017 operating EPS of $1.10, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.19 by 7.6%. The bottom line also declined 15.4% from $1.30 a year ago. The company carries a Zacks Rank #3.

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