FirstEnergy Corp. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

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S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, February 28, 2012. FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company that operates through its subsidiaries: OE, CEI, TE, Penn, ATSI, JCP&L, Met-Ed and Penelec.

FirstEnergy Corp. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for net income of 76 cents per share, a rise of 7% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 75 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has risen from 72 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 1.4% compared to last year’s $3.67.

Past Earnings Performance: The company beat estimates last quarter after falling short in the prior two. In the third quarter, the company reported profit of $1.34 per share versus a mean estimate of net income of $1.23 per share. In the second quarter, the company missed estimates by 8 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $5.19 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 61.2% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $17.16 billion for the year, a rise of 28.6% from last year’s revenue of $13.34 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about FirstEnergy with nine of 16 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose more than twofold to $511 million ($1.22 a share) from $179 million (59 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 27.8% to $4.72 billion from $3.69 billion.

Key Stats:

The increase in profit in the third quarter broke a streak of three consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit decreases. Net income dropped 31.7% in the second quarter, 67.7% in the first quarter and 22.3% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has increased in each of the past four quarters. Revenue rose 29.8% in the second quarter from the year earlier, climbed 8.4% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter and 8.9% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Stock Price Performance: From January 24, 2012 to February 22, 2012, the stock price rose $3 (7.4%), from $40.75 to $43.75. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between November 23, 2011 and December 1, 2011, when shares rose for six straight days, increasing 6.7% (+$2.79) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 7, 2011 and July 18, 2011 when shares fell for eight straight days, dropping 4% (-$1.72) 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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