Northeast Utilities System First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Northeast Utilities System (NYSE:NU) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, May 3, 2012. Northeast Utilities is a public utility holding company that delivers energy through its subsidiaries.

Northeast Utilities System Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for profit of 69 cents per share, no change from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 74 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 72 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $2.43 per share, a rise of 2.1% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company beat estimates last quarter after falling short in the prior two. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company reported profit of 74 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 69 cents per share. In the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the company missed estimates by 4 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.41 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 13.7% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $5.26 billion for the year, a rise of 17.7% from last year’s revenue of $4.47 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock, with nine analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and five rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit fell 12.4% to $113.3 million (64 cents a share) from $129.3 million (73 cents a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue fell 11.3% to $1.07 billion from $1.2 billion.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is hoping to use this earnings announcement to snap a string of four-straight quarters of revenue decreases. Revenue fell 7.8% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, 5.8% in second quarter of the last fiscal year and 10.3% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and then fell again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year of the last fiscal year.

After experiencing income drops the past two quarters, the company is hoping to use this earnings announcement to rebound. Net income dropped 10.5% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and then again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Stock Price Performance: Between February 1, 2012 and April 27, 2012, the stock price rose $1.95 (5.6%), from $34.87 to $36.82. 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 4.6% (+$1.64) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between December 29, 2011 and January 11, 2012 when shares fell for nine straight days, dropping 5.5% (-$1.98) over that span.

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

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