Xcel Energy Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, October 25, 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 Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 72 cents per share, a rise of 4.3% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 71 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It has risen during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 3.5% compared to last year’s $1.78.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last two quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped the forecasts by 3 cents, reporting net income of 38 cents per share against a mean estimate of profit of 35 cents. In the first quarter, the company exceeded forecasts by one cent with net income of 38 cents versus a mean estimate of profit of 37 cents.

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A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose 15.3% to $183.1 million (38 cents a share) from $158.8 million (33 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue fell 6.7% to $2.27 billion from $2.44 billion.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 7.1% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $3.03 billion.

Stock Price Performance: Between July 26, 2012 and October 19, 2012, the stock price fell $1.09 (-3.7%), from $29.13 to $28.04. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 6, 2012 and March 13, 2012, when shares rose for six straight days, increasing 3.4% (+88 cents) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between August 14, 2012 and August 23, 2012 when shares fell for eight straight days, dropping 3.9% (-$1.12) over that span.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is hoping to use this earnings announcement to snap a string of two-straight quarters of revenue declines. Revenue fell 8.5% in the first quarter and dropped again in the second quarter.

There has enjoyed solid performance recently heading into this earnings announcement with profit rising by a year-over-year average of 4.2% for the last four quarters.

Analyst Ratings: There are mostly holds on the stock with 10 of 16 analysts surveyed giving that rating.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 0.67 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, a ratio less than one could indicate a company may have difficulty meeting current obligations. The company regressed in this liquidity measure from 0.69 in the first quarter to the last quarter driven in part by an increase in liabilities. Current liabilities increased 3.3% to $3.83 billion while assets rose 0.7% to $2.56 billion.

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

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