CenterPoint Energy Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

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S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CNP) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, February 29, 2012. CenterPoint Energy is a public utility holding company that operates electric transmission and distribution facilities, interstate pipelines, and natural gas gathering, processing, and treating facilities.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 18 cents per share, a decline of 37.9% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It also has not changed during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 3.6% versus last year to $1.14.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last two quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped the forecasts by 8 cents, reporting net income of 37 cents per share against a mean estimate of profit of 29 cents. In the second quarter, the company exceeded forecasts by one cent with net income of 24 cents versus a mean estimate of profit of 23 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 19.5% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $2.51 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about CenterPoint Energy with nine of 14 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose more than sevenfold to $973 million ($2.27 a share) from $123 million (29 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue fell 1.4% to $1.88 billion from $1.91 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has seen net income rise in three consecutive quarters. Net income rose 46.9% in the second quarter and 29.8% in the first quarter.

Revenue fell in the third quarter after seeing a rise the quarter before. In the second quarter, revenue rose 4.6%.

Stock Price Performance: Between December 23, 2011 and February 23, 2012, the stock price had fallen $1.17 (-5.9%), from $20 to $18.83. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 23, 2011 and July 1, 2011, when shares rose for seven straight days, increasing 5.5% (+$1) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 10, 2011 and May 17, 2011 when shares fell for six straight days, dropping 2.2% (-41 cents) over that span.

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

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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

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