The NRG Energy Earnings Beat Lifts Utilities ETFs

Utilities sector-related exchange traded funds lit up after NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) revealed better-than-expected fourth-quarter results and claimed it was able to shake off the financial setback from the cold storm in Texas.

On Monday, the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Utilities ETF (NYSEArca: RYU) rose 3.2% and the First Trust Utilities AlphaDEX Fund (NYSEArca: FXU) gained 3.0%. Meanwhile, the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLU), the largest utilities sector-related ETF, advanced 3.1%. The three funds were testing their long-term support at the 200-day simple moving average.

NRG Energy shares jumped 14.2% on Monday. NRG makes up 4.6% of FXU’s underlying portfolio, 4.4% of RYU, and 3.3% of XLU.

NRG reported fourth-quarter earnings of $2.10 per share, up from $1.27 in the year-earlier quarter, TheStreet reports. In comparison, analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted earnings of 45 cents per share.

After preliminary analysis on Winter Storm Uri in Texas, NRG Energy believed “the financial impact of Winter Storm Uri to be within its current range.”

The winter storms struck Texas last month, causing massive power outages, with over a half-million Texans still under boil-water notices.

Perryman Group calculated that Winter Storm Uri could cost $195-295 billion in damages.

“Our priority today is both helping our Texas communities recover and working with all necessary stakeholders to improve the resilience of the energy system,” Mauricio Gutierrez, NRG President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a press release. “We continue to advance our customer-focused strategy with the completion of the Direct Energy acquisition and today’s announced sale of 4.8 GW non-core fossil generating assets. Our integrated platform performed well in 2020 and continues to perform through unprecedented conditions, further validating our business model.”

For more information on the utilities sector, visit our utilities category.