Piedmont Natural Gas Earnings Preview

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Piedmont Natural Gas (NYS: PNY) will look to avoid missing estimates for the fifth consecutive quarter when its earnings are released. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Friday. Piedmont is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and power generation customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on Piedmont Natural Gas with five of seven analysts rating it hold. Analysts like Piedmont Natural Gas better than competitor Vectren overall. Zero out of six analysts rate Vectren a buy compared to one of seven for Piedmont Natural Gas.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $218.8 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 3.4% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is a loss of $0.11 per share. Estimates range from a loss of $0.16 to a loss of $0.08.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly behind the stock with 95.1% granting it an outperform rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars with 90.6% assigning it a rating of outperform. Fools have embraced Piedmont Natural Gas, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 41 posts in the past 30 days. Even with a robust four out of five stars, Piedmont Natural Gas' CAPS rating falls a little short of the community's upbeat outlook.

Management:
Revenue has fallen for the past three quarters.

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

Q2

Q1

Q4

Q3

Gross Margin

29.0%

27.4%

14.5%

10.7%

Net Margin

12.1%

12.9%

(4.7%)

(4.5%)

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Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Piedmont Natural Gas.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

At the time this article was published

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