Mercury lifts 2017 earnings guidance a third time on higher hydro generation
Mercury Energy, the electricity generator-retailer formerly known as MightyRiverPower, raised its 2017 earnings guidance for a third time based on increased hydro generation in the Waikato catchment.
Auckland-based Mercury expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and fair value adjustments to be $520 million in the 12 months ending June 30, up from $493 million a year earlier. That's a $10 million increase from its revised guidance in April.
The upgrade "is due to a 200 GWh increase in full-year forecast hydro generation resulting from persistently strong inflows across the Waikato catchment," the company said. "Hydro generation is now forecast to be 4,700 GWh for the financial year, or 700 GWh above annual average hydro generation."
Mercury said other 2017 guidance remains unchanged.
Mercury had 390,000 electricity customers at the end of March, up from 377,000 a year earlier. Its annualised churn rate of 17.6 percent was the lowest among the major retailers and below the market average of 20.5 percent.
The shares last traded at $3.31 and have gained 12 percent so far this year.
Meanwhile, wholesale electricity prices have been rising because inflows to the larger South Island hydro catchments are running well below average.