National Fuel Gas Increases Sales but Misses Revenue Estimate

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

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q2), National Fuel Gas missed estimates on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

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

Margins expanded across the board.

Revenue details
National Fuel Gas booked revenue of $597.8 million. The three analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected sales of $616.8 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 8.2% higher than the prior-year quarter's $552.3 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 eight earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.98 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.02 for Q2 were 26% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.81 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 44.4%, 350 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 27.3%, 340 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 14.3%, 210 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $397.5 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.60.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $1.81 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.96.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 203 members out of 213 rating the stock outperform, and 10 members rating it underperform. Among 60 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 57 give National Fuel Gas a green thumbs-up, and three 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 $60.00.

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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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