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PPL posts growth in Q4, FY'19 earnings, issues 2020 guidance

PPL Corp. on Feb. 14 announced earnings from ongoing operations of $431 million, or 57 cents per share, in the 2019 fourth quarter, rising from $382 million, or 52 cents per share, in the comparable quarter of 2018.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate for the 2019 fourth quarter was 53 cents.

The utility reported GAAP earnings of $364 million, or 48 cents per share, a drop from $415 million, or 57 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Operating revenues for the quarter were $1.95 billion, up from $1.94 billion a year earlier. PPL also reported operating income of $693 million, an increase from $657 million in the 2018 fourth quarter.

For the full year, PPL posted 2019 earnings from ongoing operations of $1.81 billion, or $2.45 per share, rising from $1.71 billion, or $2.40 per share, in 2018.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate for the year was $2.42.

On a GAAP basis, the company said it earned $1.75 billion for the year, or $2.37 per share, compared to earnings of $1.83 billion, or $2.58 per share, a year earlier.

Operating revenues for the year totaled $7.77 billion, compared to $7.79 billion in 2018, while operating income came at $2.84 billion, compared to $2.85 billion in 2018.

PPL also outlined its full-year 2020 earnings guidance range of $2.40 per share to $2.60 per share, with a midpoint of $2.50 per share. The company lowered its 2021 guidance range to $2.40 per share to $2.60 per share from the prior range of $2.50 per share to $2.80 per share, reflecting lower expected foreign currency exchange rate forecasts.

The company also announced that it set a more aggressive carbon reduction goal of at least 80% from 2010 levels by 2050 and accelerated its previous 70% goal by 10 years to 2040. PPL said it plans to invest about $14 billion across its U.S. and U.K. businesses over the next five years.