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Market Update

Earnings on Tap: Exelon

Exelon's minimal greenhouse gas emissions and low operating costs compared with fossil-fuel power producers should allow it to create shareholder value for many years.

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 Exelon (EXC) will be reporting latest results before the markets open Wednesday. Wall Street analysts are expecting earnings of $0.54 per share in the second quarter compared with $0.33 per diluted share reported in the corresponding period a year ago.

For the first quarter of 2013, the company's earnings came in at the top end of its forecast range even as its nuclear fleet achieved a 96.4% capacity factor during the quarter. Exelon posted adjusted operating earnings of $0.70 per share for the period.

Recently President Barack Obama announced plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Apart from this, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a hearing for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, or CSAPR, which introduced a more aggressive framework for reducing power plant emissions of nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide.

Morningstar analyst Travis Miller feels tighter air emissions regulations are a net positive for Exelon, which has low-emissions fleets that would gain a cost advantage against competing coal plants.

In an era of concerns about global warming and rising commodity prices, Exelon maintains an enviable position as the largest nuclear plant operator in the United States, opines Miller. Its minimal greenhouse gas emissions and low operating costs relative to competing fossil-fuel power producers should allow it to create shareholder value for many years.

Shares of Exelon are up 6.5% on a year-to-date basis but are still below Morningstar's fair value estimate.

Gazala Parveen does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.