National Fuel Gas Earnings: Here’s Why Investors are Ambivalent Now

National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG) delivered a profit and beat Wall Street’s expectations, BUT came up short on beating the revenue expectation. The revenue miss is a negative sign to shareholders seeking high growth out of the company.

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National Fuel Gas Co. Earnings Cheat Sheet

Results: Adjusted Earnings Per Share increased 14.61% to $1.02 in the quarter versus EPS of $0.89 in the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 8.24% to $597.83 million from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: National Fuel Gas Co. reported adjusted EPS income of $1.02 per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean analyst estimate of $0.97. It missed the average revenue estimate of $618.31 million.

Quoting Management: Ronald J. Tanski, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Fuel Gas Company, stated: “We believe that there are a number of factors that will allow us to continue this positive momentum. Seneca’s recent success in Lycoming County has driven a significant increase in both our production and earnings forecasts for fiscal 2013. Looking to next year, the delineation results in our Rich Valley prospect area make us increasingly excited about the long-term potential of our legacy acreage. The decrease in the volatility of natural gas prices, and the modest upward trend in the futures strip prices should further support interest from shippers in our new pipeline projects. In short, we remain focused on efficiently deploying capital across our system, generating strong returns and delivering the positive results our shareholders expect.”

Key Stats (on next page)…

Revenue increased 32.02% from $452.85 million in the previous quarter. EPS increased 25.93% from $0.81 in the previous quarter.

Looking Forward: Analysts have a more positive outlook for the company’s next-quarter performance. Over the past three months, the average estimate for next quarter’s earnings has risen from a profit of $0.55 to a profit $0.6. For the current year, the average estimate has moved up from a profit of $2.75 to a profit of $2.91 over the last ninety days.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Email any earnings discrepancies to earnings [at]