Earnings season is upon us, as it is every quarter, writes utility analyst Sandy Cohen. The Electric Utility Industry starts to report its 3rd quarter earnings in earnest next week. The announcements begin this week, crescendo in from October 26th to November 4th, and trickle in the final reports thereafter. Below is a table that lists the electric utilities whose yield we track every week.
The table is alphabetical by ticker symbol, and has on it the company, the expected date of each company's 3rd Quarter earnings announcement (where available), the consensus forecasted 3rd quarter earnings per share (where available), and last year's 3rd Quarter actual earnings per share. The consensus EPS forecast for the quarter comes from Yahoo Finance. The actual for the prior year's quarter also generally comes from Yahoo Finance, but I am uncertain whether those EPS' represetn reported or operating EPS. They appear to be operating EPS for the 3rd quarter of 2004, but I definitely caught a few errors (which I fixed).
The 3rd quarter is generally the big quarter of earnings for most electric utilities, as it covers much of the summer months (air conditioning demand is a large part of the variable swing in seasonal earnings) -- the 3rd quarter can represent as much as 40% of an electric utility's annual earnings. The exceptions to this rule are those electric utilities that have WINTER peaking systems (i.e. the strongest demand for electricity from their customers is in the winter), such as the electric utilities in the Pacific Northwest, or electric utilities with a much larger component of their business in the GAS utility area (such as Nisource, or Vectren).
As earnings are reported, remember that this was generally considered a HOT summer, both relative to normal, and relative to last year (which was generally considered a cool summer). So earnings comparisons should look pretty good (it will not be uncommon to see many utilties report operating earnings 10%+ better than last year ... in fact we show that consensus is calling for 11% better 3rd quarter earnings than last year's operating earnings). As companies report, look to see or hear if the company either reports, or answers in conferecne calls, what a company's NORMALIZED earnings are (i.e. without the positive weather effect).
Anyway, the table below shows the schedule, consensus earnings (where available), and 3Q 2004 operating EPS:
|Electric||3Q Est. 2005||3Q 2005||3Q 2004|
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