What to Expect From Duke Earnings

Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK) is set to report its second-quarter earnings Thursday morning. The Thomson Reuters estimates are $0.98 earnings per share and $6.12 billion in revenues. These estimates predict an increase of $0.11 in earnings per share from the previous year’s level at $0.87. The revenue is expected to increase $0.24 billion from previous quarter at $5.88 billion.

Estimates for the following quarter are more optimistic, expecting a large amount of growth to $1.59 earnings per share and $7.35 billion in revenues.

With Duke being the largest utility out there, with a $49 billion market cap, it has to be watched by utility and other income investors, whether they really want to watch it or not. Duke also yields 4.3%.

Duke has started the process of selling off its Midwest commercial generation business, which includes ownership interests in 11 power plants. Lynn Good, president, CEO and vice chair of Duke Energy said earlier regarding the sale:

Our merchant power plants have delivered volatile returns in the challenging competitive market in the Midwest. This earning profile is not a strategic fit for Duke Energy and we have begun a process to exit the business.

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This recent drop was the third test of the 200-day moving average in 2014. However, this was the first time that it broke under the key moving average. It is unusual for a utility the size of Duke to drop 6.5% in over a week. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.2 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest.

Trading near $69.68, Duke has a 52-week trading range of $64.16 to $75.13, and its consensus price target from analysts is $76.59. Duke’s recent stock drop has brought valuations in a bit since last Sunday’s earnings preview. The stock is now valued at about 14.6 times expected 2015 earnings estimates.

With Duke being the largest electric utility by market cap in America, this one can dribble over positively or negatively into the entire peer group.