National Fuel Gas Earnings Preview

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National Fuel Gas (NYS: NFG) beat estimates by $0.03 last quarter and investors are hoping it can beat them again. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Friday. National Fuel Gas is a diversified energy company that operates its business in four segments: utility, pipeline and storage, exploration and production, and energy marketing.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Half of analysts think investors should stand pat on National Fuel Gas while the remaining half rate the stock as a buy half of analysts think investors should stand pat on National Fuel Gas. Analysts like National Fuel Gas better than competitor AGL Resources overall. One out of six analysts rate AGL Resources a buy compared to five of 10 for National Fuel Gas. Wall Street has warmed to the stock over the past three months, with analysts increasing their endorsement from hold to moderate buy.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $327.1 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 14.2% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.44 per share. Estimates range from $0.39 to $0.51.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock with 95.8% awarding it an outperform rating. The community at large backs the All-Stars with 94.1% granting it a rating of outperform. Fools are gung-ho about National Fuel Gas, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 74 posts in the past 30 days. Even with a robust four out of five stars, National Fuel Gas' CAPS rating falls a little short of the community's upbeat outlook.

Management:
National Fuel Gas' profit has risen year over year by an average of 21.7% over the past five 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

Q3

Q2

Q1

Q4

Gross Margin

45.2%

35.9%

42.2%

50.2%

Net Margin

12.3%

17.5%

13.0%

13.8%

One final thing: If you want to keep tabs on National Fuel Gas movements, and for more analysis on the company, make sure you add it to your watchlist.

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At the time this article was published

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