NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) is out with its second-quarter results. The large-scale utility generated nearly $1.4 billion, or $0.71 per share, of adjusted earnings, up about 9% from the year-ago period. That kept it on track to deliver on its long-term growth objectives.
Here's a closer look at the quarter and management's financial outlook for the next decade.
Another strong showing
"NextEra Energy delivered strong second-quarter results," stated CEO James Robo in the earnings press release. He noted that the utility "grew adjusted earnings per share by more than 9% year-over-year, reflecting continued strong financial and operational performance across all of the businesses."
The company's main electric utility in Florida, FPL, generated $819 million of net income in the quarter, up more than 9% from the year-ago period. That entity benefited from continued investments to improve its operations and production profile, and customer growth. One of the highlights during the quarter was the completion of 373 megawatts (MW) of new solar energy projects, including the FPL Discovery Solar Energy Center at the Kennedy Space Center. FPL also continues to work on its ambitious "30-by-30" plan to install 30 million solar panels by 2030. During the quarter, it passed the 40% mark toward accomplishing that goal.
Its other Florida utility, Gulf Power, reported income growth of 14.5%, to $63 million. That entity -- which the company is merging with FPL -- is benefiting from continuing capital investment to reduce costs and clean up its production profile.
Finally, earnings at NextEra's energy resources segment increased by about 8%, to $574 million. The main factor powering that growth was the investment to expand its portfolio of renewable energy assets. In addition to completing new projects, the company continued expanding its backlog, adding 1.84 gigawatts of new renewables and energy storage projects during the quarter.
What's ahead for NextEra Energy
NextEra Energy's solid showing in the second quarter has it on track to achieve its long-term financial expectations. That forecast has the company generating between $2.40 to $2.54 per share of adjusted earnings this year. At the midpoint, that's a 7% increase from last year's level of $2.31 per share. That includes the accretive benefits of its $6.5 billion of Florida acquisitions from Southern Company (NYSE:SO) in 2018 that brought Gulf Power into the fold.
The company also affirmed its projection for adjusted earnings per share growth of 6% to 8% per year through 2023 off of this year's base. That would mean 2023 adjusted earnings should fall between $2.77 and $2.97 per share. The company also expects to raise its dividend per share at a 10% annual rate through at least 2022.
That official forecast is more conservative than what the company believes it can achieve. Robo stated in the earnings release: "We remain as enthusiastic as ever about our long-term growth prospects, and we will be disappointed if we are not able to deliver financial results at or near the top end of our adjusted earnings per share expectations ranges in 2021, 2022 and 2023, while at the same time maintaining our strong credit ratings and, most importantly, continuing to reliably deliver for our customers." He believes "NextEra Energy remains uniquely positioned to drive long-term shareholder value."
NextEra remains a great long-term buy
NextEra Energy's second-quarter results confirmed that the company remains on the right path to continue creating value for shareholders. It's still on track to achieve its long-term earnings growth outlook and is as optimistic as ever that it can deliver results at the high end of that forecast. For all these reasons, it looks like a great stock to buy and hold for the long haul as the transition to renewable energy accelerates.