National Fuel Gas Whiffs on Revenues

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National Fuel Gas (NYS: NFG) reported earnings on Feb. 2. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q1), National Fuel Gas whiffed on revenues and missed expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue shrank, and GAAP earnings per share improved.

Margins improved across the board.

Revenue details
National Fuel Gas tallied revenue of $432.4 million. The one analyst polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated net sales of $502.9 million. Sales were 4.1% lower than the prior-year quarter's $450.9 million.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions.

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.73. The eight earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.81 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.73 for Q1 were 4.3% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.70 per share.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Figures may be non-GAAP to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 46.3%, 410 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 27.4%, 140 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 14.0%, 100 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $708.2 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.99.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $2.08 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.80.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 196 members rating the stock outperform, and 12 members rating it underperform. Among 68 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 66 give National Fuel Gas a green thumbs-up, and two give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on National Fuel Gas is outperform, with an average price target of $71.36.

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At the time this article was published Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor ofMotley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. 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.

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