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Alliant Energy's (LNT) Q3 Earnings Improve Y/Y, Guidance Up

Alliant Energy Corporation LNT reported third-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 94 cents per share, increasing from the year-ago figure of 85 cents by 10.6%.

The year-over-year growth in earnings was attributable to increasing rate base at Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL) and Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), along with timing of income tax expenses.

Total Revenues

Total revenues in the third quarter came in at $990.2 million, improving 6.6% year over year.

Alliant Energy Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Alliant Energy Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Alliant Energy Corporation Quote

Operational Highlights

Total operating expenses were $700 million in the reported quarter, increasing 4.1% from $672.5 million in the year-ago period. The increase was due to higher operation and maintenance, and depreciation expenses.

Operating income was $290.2 million, up 13.3% from $256.1 million in the year-ago quarter.

Interest expenses were $68.3 million, increasing 12.9% from $63.3 million in the prior-year quarter.

During the third quarter, the company’s retail electric and gas utility customers grew 0.5% and 0.4% year over year, respectively. The increase in its customer count had a positive impact on electric and natural gas volumes sold, which improved 3.6% and 4% year over year, respectively.

Financial Update

Cash and cash equivalents were $193.7 million as of Sep 30, 2019, up from $20.9 million on Dec 31, 2018.

Long-term debt (excluding current portion) was $5,535.1 million as of Sep 30, 2019, higher than $5,246.3 million on Dec 31, 2018.

In the first nine months of 2019, cash flow from operating activities was $509.2 million compared with $442.2 million in the comparable year-ago period.

Guidance

Alliant Energy raised its 2019 consolidated earnings per share guidance to the range of 2.27-$2.33 from $2.17-$2.31. The revision in guidance takes into consideration the benefits of weather in the first nine months of the year.

The company also initiated its 2020 earnings guidance in the range of 2.34-$2.48 per share. The guidance takes into account positive regulatory outcome at IPL, stable economy and normal temperatures in its service territories.

The company expects to invest $6.7 billion within the 2019-2023 time frame to strengthen and expand the generation and distribution business.

Other Utility Releases

PPL Corporation PPL reported third-quarter 2019 earnings per share of 61 cents, which matched the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Dominion Energy Inc. D reported third-quarter 2019 operating earnings of $1.18 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.16 by 1.7%.

Entergy Corporation ETR reported third-quarter 2019 adjusted earnings of $2.52 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.31 by 9.1%.

Zacks Rank

Currently, Alliant Energy carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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