Xcel Energy Inc Earnings: Another Quarter of Rising Profit

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Xcel Energy Inc (NYSE:XEL) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Xcel Energy is a holding company that is engaged in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity and natural gas.

Investing Insights: Will the iPad 3 Be the Next Catalyst for Apple’s Stock?

Xcel Energy Inc Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for Xcel Energy Inc rose to $140.5 million (29 cents per share) vs. $136.6 million (28 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 2.8% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Remained constant at $2.57 billion.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Xcel Energy Inc fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 30 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $2.75 billion.

Quoting Management: “We had an excellent year in 2011,” said Ben Fowke, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We delivered earnings in the upper half of our guidance range, which represents the seventh consecutive year in which we have met or exceeded our earnings guidance. We exceeded our energy efficiency and conservation program targets. In addition, we provided excellent customer service and reliability despite severe weather across our service territory during the latter half of the year. Finally, the recent decision by the D.C. Circuit to stay the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will provide us more time to comply with the rule in a cost-effective manner in Texas, preventing our customers from being burdened by significant cost increases and avoid potential reliability concerns.”

Key Stats:

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the third quarter, net income rose 8.3% and in the second quarter, the figure rose 13.6%.

The company fell short of forecasts after beating estimates in the previous two quarters. In the third quarter, it topped the mark by 4 cents, and in the second quarter, it was ahead by one cent.

Looking Forward: Over the past ninety days, the average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has fallen from 45 cents per share to 44 cents, indicating that analysts are growing pessisimistic about the company’s performance next quarter. The average estimate for the fiscal year has remained at $1.74 per share.

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

Don’t Miss These Additional Hot Earnings Stories:

MasterCard Inc. Earnings: Five Straight Quarters of Double-Digit Growth

Kellogg Company Earnings: Yet Another Quarter of Profitability

CME Group Inc. Earnings: Profit Rises for Fourth Straight Quarter

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