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Entergy beats estimates by wide margin in Q4, FY'17, sets 2018 guidance

Entergy Corp. initiated an operational guidance range of $6.25 per share to $6.85 per share for 2018, after its fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 results beat analyst estimates by a wide margin.

The company also set utility, parent and other adjusted guidance range of $4.50 per share to $4.90 per share for this year.

"As we look ahead to the next three years, our success continues to be less dependent on strategic initiatives and more on our own operational execution," said Entergy Chairman and CEO Leo Denault in a Feb. 23 statement.

Entergy reported fourth-quarter 2017 operational earnings of $137.6 million, or 76 cents per share, up from $55.5 million, or 31 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the most recent period was 46 cents.

The company's utility business contributed $133.2 million, or 74 cents per share, toward fourth-quarter 2017 operational earnings, compared to $120.4 million, or 67 cents per share, in the comparable 2016 quarter.

Meanwhile, Entergy Wholesale Commodities posted fourth-quarter 2017 operational earnings of $62.8 million, or 35 cents per share, compared with a loss of $7.7 million, or 4 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

The parent and "other" segment widened its operational loss to $58.5 million, or 33 cents per share, in the most recent quarter, from $57.1 million, or 32 cents per share, in the 2016 fourth quarter.

On a GAAP basis, Entergy narrowed its fourth-quarter loss to $479.1 million, or $2.66 per share, in 2017, from losses of $1.77 billion, or $9.88 per share, in 2016.

For full-year 2017, the company booked operational earnings of $1.30 billion, or $7.20 per share, beating the consensus estimate of $6.90 per share. Entergy had posted operational earnings of $1.27 billion, or $7.11 per share, in 2016.

On a GAAP basis, Entergy's earnings improved to $411.6 million, or $2.28 per share, in 2017, from a loss of $583.6 million, or $3.26 per share, a year ago.

GAAP earnings for the fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 reflect the revaluation of net deferred tax assets as a result of the tax reform, plus asset impairments and other expenses related to strategic decisions in the Entergy Wholesale Commodities business.