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TransCanada beats Q4 Street estimates, cites gains from C$5B of growth projects

TransCanada Corp. on Feb. 15 reported fourth-quarter 2017 comparable earnings of C$719 million, or 82 Canadian cents per share, an increase from C$626 million, or 75 Canadian cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate for the fourth quarter was 75 Canadian cents.

Comparable EBITDA was C$1.90 billion, compared to C$1.89 billion in the prior-year period. Comparable distributable cash flow, or DCF, decreased to C$727 million from C$928 million in the same quarter of 2016.

Net income attributable to common shares amounted to C$861 million, or 98 Canadian cents per share, compared to a loss of C$358 million, or 43 Canadian cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

For the full year 2017, TransCanada's comparable earnings rose to C$2.69 billion, or C$3.09 per share, from C$2.11 billion, or C$2.78 per share, in 2016. The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus normalized EPS estimate for 2017 was C$3.01.

Comparable EBITDA totaled C$7.38 billion, increasing from C$6.65 billion a year earlier. Comparable DCF totaled C$3.60 billion, compared to C$3.54 billion in 2016.

Net income attributable to common shares surged to C$3.0 billion, or C$3.43 per share, from C$124 million, or 16 Canadian cents per share, the year before.

TransCanada credited the earnings increases to "strong performance from existing assets" and about C$5 billion of growth projects that went into service in 2017, which included expansions of the NGTL and Canadian Mainlines pipeline systems.

The company also increased its quarterly dividend for the quarter ending March 31 to 69 Canadian cents per common share, or C$2.76 per share on an annualized basis, from 49 Canadian cents in the previous quarter. The dividend is payable April 30 to shareholders of record at the close of business March 29.