With a market capitalization of $127 billion before trading began Friday, NextEra Energy — parent of Florida Power & Light — is the nation’s most richly valued utility by far. Revenue topped $19 billion for 2019.
NextEra Energy’s profit for 2019 wasn’t quite as gaudy as the record number it posted in 2018, but the nation’s most valuable utility said Friday that its revenues rose to more than $19 billion last year.
Juno Beach-based NextEra (NYSE: NEE) reported a full-year profit of $3.8 billion, off from 2018’s record reading of $6.6 billion. Total revenues were $19.2 billion, up from $16.7 billion in 2018 — and a sum that will push NextEra even higher up the Fortune 500 list.
Shares jumped $3.54, or 1.4%, to close at $263.62 Friday. NextEra is the parent of Florida Power & Light, the state’s largest utility. It also operates wind and solar farms around the world.
As the company’s operations grow ever more complex, NextEra prominently explained that annual earnings grew after adjusting for such factors as federal tax cuts, the costs of NextEra’s aggressive acquisitions and the results of its solar operations in Spain. Graded on that curve, NextEra said, adjusted earnings actually grew to $4.1 billion in 2019, up from $3.7 billion in 2018.
“We achieved approximately 8.7% growth in adjusted earnings per share for the year and delivered a total shareholder return of approximately 43%, significantly outperforming both the S&P 500 and the S&P 500 Utilities Index,” NextEra Chairman Jim Robo said in a statement.
Indeed, NextEra has richly rewarded investors. With a market capitalization of $127 billion before trading began Friday, it’s the nation’s most richly valued utility by far. It’s also the largest company headquartered in Palm Beach County.
FPL parent NextEra isn’t exactly a household name, but its revenues eclipse those of such prominent companies as Gap Inc., Nordstrom, Texas Instruments and General Mills.
FPL has been snapping up other electric companies. In 2018, FPL bought Gulf Power, which supplies electricity in the Panhandle, and the city of Vero Beach’s municipal utility.
In one deal that got away, the city of Jacksonville in December dropped plans to sell its public utility to FPL or another privately held operator.
“I would say we’re disappointed that the sale process has been terminated,” Robo told analysts Friday. “We think we could have brought enormous value to the customers and the citizens of Jacksonville, and we think it’s unfortunate that it’s been terminated, but that is what it is.”
The company dodged a potentially costly disaster when Hurricane Dorian, after devastating the Bahamas in September, narrowly missed FPL’s service area.