Given that the market expected AGL Energy’s (ASX: AGL) interim result to disappoint, after what has been a tough first half, revelations today that profits had fallen -41% to $194m came as no surprise.
However, the market saw sufficient good news within today's result - including a 5.5% rise in first-half FY22 revenues to $5.7bn - to nudge the share price around 1% higher in early morning trade.
In defence of the profit decline, the reduction was largely driven by a one-off $105m in insurance proceeds. After adjusting for the non-recurrence, first-half profits were down -23%.
AGL declared a 16 cents per share interim dividend, down -60% compared to last year. The dividend represents a yield of 2.1% based on today’s open price of $7.56.
AGL shares will go ex-dividend on Wednesday, 23 February.
Morgans was expecting a “significantly weaker first-half” performance, forecasting earnings of $97m.
Bloomberg estimates were far more pessimistic, expecting a -$70.7m loss and a 12.6 cent dividend.
Today's price action reflect the better-than-expected result, with AGL shares up 2.7% at 11:00 am AEDT.
AGL expects FY22 net profits to range between $260m and $340m, compared to its previous guidance between $220m and $340m.
Earnings are expected to be lower in the second half due to higher costs to cover peak electricity demand.
Taking a longer-term view, Managing Director and CEO Graeme Hunt said:
“With the rise of energy and commodity prices across the globe, AGL Energy is well positioned to benefit from improving wholesale electricity prices, seen over the past six months, and if it is sustained, we expect to see this reflected in future earnings beyond FY22 as hedging positions roll off.
Finance Writer & Social Media
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