Altria Shares Fall as NextEra Energy Climbs After Shareholders Digest Earnings

Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for Altria Group Inc. fell to $836 million (41 cents per share) vs. $919 million (44 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 9% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue fose 3.4% to $6.1 billion from the year earlier quarter. MO reported adjusted net income of 50 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 49 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $4.23 billion.

“Altria delivered strong returns for its shareholders in 2011 in a challenging business environment while taking steps to continue creating shareholder value into the future,” said Michael E. Szymanczyk, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (NYSE:CEO) of Altria. “Altria grew its redefined adjusted diluted EPS by 7.9% behind the strength of our tobacco and wine businesses.”

Competitors to Watch: Reynolds American, Inc. (NYSE:RAI), Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO), Philip Morris Intl. Inc. (NYSE:PM), Vector Group Ltd. (NYSE:VGR), Star Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ:CIGX), British American Tobacco (AMEX:BTI), Alliance One Intl., Inc. (NYSE:AOI), and Universal Corporation (NYSE:UVV).

NextEra Energy Inc.(NYSE:NEE) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for NextEra Energy Inc. rose to $667 million ($1.59 per share) vs. $263 million (63 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This is a more than twofold rise from the year earlier quarter. Revenue fose 13.2% to $3.86 billion from the year earlier quarter. NEE reported adjusted net income of 93 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 92 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $3.75 billion.

“NextEra Energy delivered strong performance in the fourth quarter and overall for 2011. At Florida Power & Light, earnings growth was driven by investments in the business, including new efficient power generation, that are helping to provide our customers with the lowest bills in the state and reliability that is among the best in the country. At NextEra Energy Resources, we signed nearly 2,200 megawatts of long-term wind and solar contracts in 2011, our most ever in a single year,” said NextEra Energy Chairman and CEO Lew Hay.

Competitors to Watch: Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC), El Paso Electric Company (NYSE:EE), Entergy Corporation (NYSE:ETR), The Southern Company (NYSE:SO), FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE), PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL), Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:POM), American Electric Power Co., Inc. (NYSE:AEP), Northeast Utilities System (NYSE:NU), and Constellation Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE:CEG).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com