Traders are Analyzing These 3 Earnings Releases

PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Net income for the electric utilities company rose to $401 million (69 cents per share) vs. $355 million (73 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 13% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose more than twofold to $4.22 billion from the year earlier quarter. PPL Corporation reported adjusted net income of 70 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 62 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $3.04 billion.

“Our strong 2011 results are due to solid performance across our business segments, coupled with the success of our Midlands integration plan to achieve, and eventually exceed, the projected synergy savings in the U.K.,” said James H. Miller, PPL’s chairman.

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).

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (NYSE:LH) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Net income for Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings rose to $135.4 million ($1.34 per share) vs. $131.8 million ($1.26 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 2.7% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 5.5% to $1.37 billion from the year earlier quarter. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings reported adjusted net income of $1.56 per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of $1.53 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.38 billion.

“We had a great year and achieved meaningful progress on each pillar of our five-pillar strategy during 2011,” said David P. King, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We also made great progress on the integration of the Westcliff, Orchid Cellmark and Genzyme Genetics acquisitions. We will continue our progress on all of these components of our growth in 2012.”

Competitors to Watch: Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX), Orchid Cellmark, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORCH), Clarient, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLRT), Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRLI), Psychemedics Corp. (NASDAQ:PMD), MEDTOX Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTOX), Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE:ENZ) and RadNet Inc. (NASDAQ:RDNT).

LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (NYSE:LYB) swung to a loss in the fourth quarter, missing analysts’ forecast. Reported a loss of $218 million (38 cents per diluted share) in the quarter. The specialty chemicals company had net income of $766 million or $1.34 per share in the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 7.9% to $11.44 billion from the year earlier quarter. LyondellBasell Industries N.V. fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 75 cents per share.

“The fourth quarter was a period of global economic slowdown and our results were impacted by broader trends,” said Jim Gallogly, LyondellBasell Chief Executive Officer. “Customers responded to this slowdown by destocking inventory and delaying orders, which negatively impacted volumes in Europe and Asia and margins globally. Refining margins were particularly weak. Although overall results for the fourth quarter declined, we expect our strategy of focusing on the basics and running our assets safely and efficiently will continue to deliver value to our shareholders.”

Competitors to Watch: TPC Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:TPCG), BASF SE (BASFY), Braskem SA (NYSE:BAK), Sasol Limited (NYSE:SSL), Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE:WLK), W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA), The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW), Repsol YPF, S.A. (REPYY), and Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co. (NYSE:SHI).

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