3 Utility Giants with a Trifecta of Wins After Earnings

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) reported its results for the third quarter. Net income for Duke Energy Corporation fell to $472 million (35 cents per share) vs. $670 million (51 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 29.6% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 0.5% to $3.96 billion from the year earlier quarter. DUK reported adjusted net income of 50 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 47 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $4.06 billion.

“The company had a solid third quarter, and as a result of its strong performance year to date, we are increasing our adjusted diluted earnings guidance range for the year from $1.35 – $1.40 to $1.40 – $1.45 per share,” said James E. Rogers, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The fourth quarter will require that we maintain our focus to complete our proposed merger with Progress Energy, work to resolve our rate cases in the Carolinas, and remain on track to complete major generation facilities at Cliffside in North Carolina and Edwardsport in Indiana by their 2012 deadlines,” he added. “Yet nothing is more important than ensuring our customers continue to receive safe, reliable, cost effective energy.”

Competitors to Watch: American Electric Power Co., Inc. (NYSE:AEP), Progress Energy, Inc. (NYSE:PGN), DPL Inc. (NYSE:DPL), The Southern Company (NYSE:SO), PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL), SCANA Corporation (NYSE:SCG), TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:TE), FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE), ALLETE, Inc. (NYSE:ALE), and Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE:D).

Progress Energy Inc. (NYSE:PGN) reported its results for the third quarter. Net income for the electric utilities company fell to $291 million (98 cents per share) vs. $361 million ($1.23 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 19.4% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue fell 7.3% to $2.75 billion from the year earlier quarter. PGN reported adjusted net income of $1.16 per share. By that measure, the company fell short of mean estimate of $1.24 per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $3.05 billion.

“During the third quarter, we met the challenges of high heat and demand and quickly repaired the damage left by Hurricane Irene,” said Bill Johnson, chairman, president and CEO. “We are continuing to focus on the fundamentals of safely delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally sound power to our customers. Meanwhile, we are working diligently to complete our merger with Duke Energy to drive increased value for our customers and shareholders, while achieving our earnings objectives for this year.”

Competitors to Watch: Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK), The Southern Company (NYSE:SO), TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:TE), SCANA Corporation (NYSE:SCG), Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE:D), American Electric Power Co., Inc. (NYSE:AEP), Northeast Utilities System (NYSE:NU), Entergy Corporation (NYSE:ETR), NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE), and FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE).

PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the third quarter. Net income for PPL Corporation rose to $444 million (76 cents per share) vs. $248 million (51 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 79% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 43.2% to $3.12 billion from the year earlier quarter. PPL beat the mean analyst estimate of 69 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $2.96 billion.

“Solid performance from our U.K. operations, including the newly acquired Midlands utilities, allows us to raise the mid-point of our earnings guidance range for the year,” said James H. Miller, PPL’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Given the significant progress made on the integration since closing the U.K. acquisition, we are highly confident in our ability to achieve the economic results we projected for that business.”

Competitors to Watch: American Electric Power Co., Inc. (NYSE:AEP), The Southern Company (NYSE:SO), Constellation Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE:CEG), Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK), FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE), NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE), The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES), Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC), Entergy Corporation (NYSE:ETR), and Portland General Electric Co. (NYSE:POR).