It has been about a month since the last earnings report for MDU Resources (MDU). Shares have lost about 2.4% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.
Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is MDU Resources due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.
MDU Resources' Earnings and Revenues Rise Y/Y in Q4
MDU Resources delivered fourth-quarter 2019 operating earnings of 47 cents per share, which increased 20.5% from the year-ago quarter’s level. The upside was driven by exceptional performance of all business lines.
In 2019, the company posted operating earnings of $1.69 per share compared with $1.39 in 2018.
Total revenues in the fourth quarter were $1,378.2 million, up 14% from $1,209.9 million in the year-ago quarter.
Operating revenues in the electric, natural gas distribution and regulated pipeline as well as the midstream segments increased 9% to $394 million. Revenues in the non-regulated pipeline and midstream, construction materials and contracting, construction services and other segments increased 16% to $984.2 million.
In 2019, the company generated revenues of $5,336.8 million compared with $4,531.6 million in 2018.
Highlights of the Release
In the quarter under review, operating expenses amounted to $1,248 million, up 14.3% from the prior-year quarter’s figure of $1,091.6 million.
Operating income was $130.2 million, up 10% year over year.
The company incurred interest expenses of $24.5 million, up from $22.4 million in the prior-year quarter.
As of Dec 31, 2019, the construction services business had backlog of $1.14 billion, up 22% from the year-ago tally.
The construction materials business had backlog of $693 million, down from a backlog of $706 million in the year-ago period.
Total debt amounted to $2,243 million as of Dec 31, 2019, up from $2,109 million as of Dec 31, 2018.
The company’s net cash flow from operating activities in 2019 was $542.3 million, up from $499.9 million in 2018.
MDU Resources expects 2020 earnings per share in the range of $1.65-$1.85, whose mid-point of $1.75 is higher than the current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.70.
The company plans to invest $2,926 million through 2020-2024.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
Analysts were quiet during the last two month period as none of them issued any earnings estimate revisions.
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