Chesapeake Utilities Beats on Both Top and Bottom Lines

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE: CPK  ) reported earnings on March 8. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Chesapeake Utilities beat slightly on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew. GAAP earnings per share grew significantly.

Margins grew across the board.

Revenue details
Chesapeake Utilities reported revenue of $109.5 million. The two analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected to see a top line of $108.3 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 5.3% higher than the prior-year quarter's $104.0 million.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $1.02. The three earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $0.86 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.02 for Q4 were 23% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.83 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 23.8%, 120 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 16.9%, 140 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 9.0%, 130 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)

Looking ahead
On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.30.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $428.8 million. The average EPS estimate is $3.14.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 96 members out of 105 rating the stock outperform, and nine members rating it underperform. Among 24 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 24 give Chesapeake Utilities a green thumbs-up, and give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Chesapeake Utilities is buy, with an average price target of $49.75.

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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 of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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