UIL Holdings Earnings Preview

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Investors never know what to expect for UIL Holdings (NYS: UIL) , as it has wavered between topping and missing analysts estimates during the past fiscal year. The company will unveil its latest earnings Thursday. UIL Holdings is engaged in the purchase, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity for residential, commercial and industrial purposes in southwest Connecticut.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on UIL Holdings with four of six analysts rating it hold. Analysts like UIL Holdings better than competitor CH Energy Group overall. Zero out of two analysts rate CH Energy Group a buy compared with one of six for UIL Holdings.
  • Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $354.7 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 71.3% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.25 per share. Estimates range from $0.22 to $0.34.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock with 91.3% granting it an "outperform" rating. The community at large agrees with the All-Stars with 91.9% assigning it a rating of "outperform." Fools are gung-ho about UIL Holdings, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 12 posts in the past 30 days. UIL Holdings has a bullish CAPS rating of five out of five stars that is about on par with the Fool community assessment.

Management:
UIL Holdings' profit has risen year over year by an average of 64%. The company's revenue has now risen for two straight quarters. The company's gross margin shrank by 4.8 percentage points in the last quarter. Revenue rose 154.7% while cost of sales rose 173.5% to $389.6 million from a year earlier.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross and net margins over the past four quarters.

Quarter

Q1

Q4

Q3

Q2

Gross Margin

30.6%

29.9%

38.0%

36.6%

Net Margin

9.3%

3.7%

6.9%

4.9%

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At the time this article was published

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