Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS), one of the largest electric and gas utilities companies in North America, announced second-quarter earnings results before the market opened on July 31, and its stock has responded by rising over 1.5%. Let’s take a closer look at the results to determine if we should consider buying in to this rally, or if we should wait for it to subside.
The record-setting results
Here’s a summary of Fortis’s second-quarter earnings results compared with what analysts had expected and its results in the same period a year ago.
|Adjusted Earnings Per Share||$0.44||$0.44||$0.30|
|Revenue||$1.54 billion||$1.27 billion||$1.06 billion|
Source: Financial Times
In the second quarter of fiscal 2015, Fortis’s adjusted net income increased 89.2% to $123 million, its adjusted earnings per share increased 46.7% to $0.44, and its revenue increased 45.6% to $1.54 billion compared with the same quarter a year ago.
The company noted that these very strong results could be primarily attributed to its acquisition of UNS Energy in August 2014, which contributed $494 million in revenue, $52 million in earnings, and had a $0.09 accretive impact on earnings per share in the second quarter.
Here’s a quick breakdown of eight other notable statistics from the report compared with the year-ago period:
- Revenue increased 261.6% to $687 million in its U.S. regulated electric & gas utilities segment (including UNS Energy)
- Revenue decreased 5.3% to $676 million in its Canadian regulated electric & gas utilities segment
- Revenue decreased 5.1% to $74 million in its Caribbean regulated electric utilities segment
- Revenue remained unchanged at $65 million in its non-utility segment
- Revenue increased 272.7% to $41 million in its Fortis Generation segment
- Cash flow from operating activities increased 45.8% to $468 million
- Weighted average number of common shares outstanding increased 29.4% to 277.9 million
- Ended the quarter with $797 million in cash and cash equivalents, an increase of 166.6% from the beginning of the quarter
Should you buy Fortis today?
It was another great quarter for Fortis, so I think its stock responded correctly by moving higher. I also think the stock represents a great long-term investment opportunity today because it trades at attractive forward valuations and because it has a high dividend yield with a very impressive track record of increasing its annual payment.
First, Fortis’s stock still trades at just 17.8 times fiscal 2015’s estimated earnings per share of $2.05 and only 17 times fiscal 2016’s estimated earnings per share of $2.15, both of which are inexpensive compared with its five-year average price-to-earnings multiple of 20.4 and the industry average multiple of 21.4.
Second, Fortis pays a quarterly dividend of $0.34 per share, or $1.36 per share annually, which gives its stock a 3.7% yield at today’s levels. It is also important to note that the company has increased its dividend for 42 consecutive years, the record for a public corporation in Canada, and its increased amount of free cash flow could allow this streak to continue for the foreseeable future.
With all of the information above in mind, I think Fortis is a must-own stock. All Foolish investors should take a closer look and strongly consider making it a core holding today.
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Fool contributor Joseph Solitro has no position in any stocks mentioned.