DTE Energy’s 4Q Earnings Outperform As Natural Gas Demand Picks Up

DTE Energy posted better-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter, as the diversified energy company saw an increase in customer demand for natural gas.

The Detroit-based company’s 4Q earnings rose 3% to $1.39 per share on a year-over-year basis and beat Street estimates of $1.24 per share.

DTE Energy’s (DTE) earnings from its natural gas utility segment came in at $84 million, up 31% year-over-year. The electric utility earnings amounted to $102 million, down 20.3%.

For 2021, the company reaffirmed its outlook and expects adjusted EPS to come in at a range of $6.88 to $7.26, versus the consensus of $7.16. (See DTE stock analysis on TipRanks)

DTE CFO David Ruud said, “We are well positioned for another solid year in 2021 as we continue to invest in reliability and infrastructure improvements for our customers.”

DTE Energy also announced the progress on the spin-off of its non-utility natural gas pipeline, storage, and gathering business into a new and independent publicly-traded company. The company has initiated the Form 10 registration process with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The planned move will enhance focus on key customers and is likely to provide faster growth, the company said. The spin-off, which was announced in Oct. 2020, is expected to be completed by mid-year 2021. The transaction awaits the board of directors’ final approval and other regulatory approvals.

On Jan. 21, Evercore ISI analyst Durgesh Chopra upgraded the stock’s rating to Buy from Hold and increased the price target to $134 (11.5% upside potential) from $121, as “the firm shook up its Energy sector ratings with a cautious view on the group in the near-term and a preference for value over quality.”

The rest of the Street is cautiously optimistic about the stock with a Moderate Buy consensus rating. That’s based on 2 analysts suggesting a Buy and 3 analysts recommending a Hold. The average analyst price target of $133 implies around 11% upside potential to current levels. Shares have appreciated 5% over the past six months.

DTE Energy scores a 9 of 10 from TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, indicating that the stock has strong potential to outperform market expectations.

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