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American Electric Power Q4 Profit Tops Estimates; Affirms 2020 Earnings Guidance

americanelectric feb20 lt

American Electric Power (AEP) reported fourth-quarter operating earnings of $294 million or $0.60 per share, compared to $354 million or $0.72 per share, a year ago. On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $0.58, for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Fourth-quarter GAAP earnings was $154 million or $0.31 per share, compared to $363 million or $0.74 per share, prior year. The company said the difference between GAAP and operating earnings was largely due to the expensing of previously retired coal generation assets in Virginia, the recently filed settlement in the Texas base rate case and the Conesville Plant impairment.

Fourth-quarter revenue declined 0.2 percent year-on-year to $3.6 billion from $3.8 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $4.27 billion for the quarter.

Year-end 2019 operating earnings were $2.095 billion or $4.24 per share, compared to operating earnings of $1.945 billion or $3.95 per share for year-end 2018. Revenue declined 0.6 percent to $15.6 billion from $16.2 billion.

For 2020, the company reaffirmed its operating earnings guidance range of $4.25 to $4.45 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report profit per share of $4.39. American Electric Power also reaffirmed its long-term operating earnings growth rate of 5% to 7%.

"We ended 2019 at the top end of our increased operating earnings guidance range, driven by our performance across our regulated and competitive businesses. That performance was more than sufficient to offset a 0.8% decline in weather normalized sales year over year. We're projecting load to improve in 2020 as several new industrial expansions are slated to come online, and we're seeing signs of improvement overall in global economic conditions," said Nicholas Akins, AEP CEO.

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