WEC Energy Group (WEC – Free Report) delivered first-quarter 2022 earnings per share (EPS) of $1.79, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.66 by 7.8%. The bottom line improved by 11.2% from the year-ago earnings of $1.61 per share.
Operating revenues of $2,908 million for the first quarter of 2022 topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,802 million by 3.8%. Also, WEC Energy’ stop line grew 8% from $2,691.4 million in the year-ago quarter.
Highlights of the Release
In the first quarter, the residential use of electricity rose 1.3% year over year. The electricity consumption by small commercial and industrial customers increased 3.8% year over year. The electricity used by large commercial and industrial customers, excluding iron ore mines, improved by 1.4% on a year-over-year basis.
Natural gas deliveries in Wisconsin, excluding the gas used for power generation, moved up 9.3% in the reporting quarter compared with the first quarter of 2021. On a weather-normal basis, natural gas deliveries rose 3.6%.
Total operating expenses for the first quarter amounted to $2,176.7 million, up 5.6% from the year-ago quarter’s $2,062.1 million due to an increase in property taxes by 10.1% and in manufacturing costs by 9.3%.
As of Mar 31, 2022, WEC had cash and cash equivalents of $33.8 million compared with $16.3 million as of Dec 31, 2021.
As of Mar 31, 2022, WEC Energy had long-term debt of $13,514.3 million compared with $13,523.7 million as of Dec 31, 2021.
Net cash provided by the operating activities as of Mar 31, 2022 was $1,076.8 million compared with $395.2 million in the year-ago quarter.
The capital expenditure in the first quarter was $383.5 million compared with $470.6 million in the year-ago quarter.
WEC Energy raised the earnings guidance range for 2022 to the $4.34-$4.38 per share band compared with the previously announced earnings guidance for 2022 in the range of $4.29-$4.33 per share. The midpoint of the new range is $4.36 per share, suggesting growth of 1.2% from the midpoint of the previous guidance range. Also, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is $4.3, which is lower than the midpoint of utility’s current guided range.
WEC Energy currently has 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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