Xcel Energy Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Xcel Energy, Inc. (NYSE:XEL) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, February 2, 2012. Xcel Energy is a holding company that is engaged in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity and natural gas.

Xcel Energy, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 30 cents per share, a rise of 3.4% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 31 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 30 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 7.4% versus last year to $1.74.

Past Earnings Performance: The company is looking to make a streak of three quarters of beating estimates. Last quarter, it beat expectations by reporting profit of 69 cents per share, and the previous quarter, it had net income of 33 cents.

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

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 7% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $2.75 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about Xcel Energy with nine of 17 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 8.3% to $338.3 million (69 cents a share) from $312.3 million (67 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 7.7% to $2.83 billion from $2.63 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 13.6% in the second quarter and 21.8% in the first quarter.

Revenue has gone up for three straight quarters. It rose 5.7% in the second quarter from the year earlier and 0.3% in the first quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE:TEG), ALLETE, Inc. (NYSE:ALE), Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE:LNT), PNM Resources, Inc. (NYSE:PNM), Black Hills Corporation (NYSE:BKH), Wisconsin Energy Corp. (NYSE:WEC), MGE Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:MGEE), El Paso Electric Company (NYSE:EE), CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE:CMS), and Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK).

Stock Price Performance: During November 29, 2011 to January 27, 2012, the stock price had risen $1.51 (5.9%) from $25.47 to $26.98. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between April 19, 2011 and May 4, 2011 when shares rose for 11-straight days, rising 2.6% (+60 cents) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 31, 2011 and June 6, 2011 when shares fell for five-straight days, falling 2.2% (-53 cents) over that span.

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

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