(Reuters) -NextEra Energy Inc on Wednesday posted mixed quarterly results, as the top U.S. renewable power producer navigated extreme weather conditions and volatile natural gas prices during the period, sending the company's shares down 5.3% in early trade.
The power sector last year was battered by extreme weather conditions. The historic winter storm Elliott last month knocked out power for more than 1.5 million homes and businesses across the United States.
NextEra was hit by $53 million in storm restoration costs during the reported quarter.
The Juno Beach, Florida-based company's fourth-quarter revenue of $6.16 billion fell short of Wall Street estimates of $6.55 billion, according to Refinitiv data. Adjusted profit of 51 cents per share, however, beat estimates of 49 cents per share.
Natural gas prices averaged $6.10 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) in the October-December quarter, about 26% higher than the previous year.
The electric power sector uses natural gas to generate electricity and is a significant driver of wholesale electricity prices as well.
NextEra, however, is banking on increased use of renewable energy like solar and wind for power generation amid a global push to shift to cleaner fuel sources to reduce worldwide emissions.
That move accelerated last year following sanctions on Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine, which sent gas and oil prices soaring.
The company's clean energy unit, logged its best year for renewables and storage, adding more than 8,000 megawatts to its backlog.
The company expects that between 2023 and 2026 it would place into service about 32,700 megawatts to 41,800 megawatts of new renewables and storage.
It also added that Eric Silagy, chief executive of Florida Power & Light (FPL) – NextEra's key division and America's largest electric utility – would retire after 20 years with the unit. Armando Pimentel, who has served in several senior executive roles at NextEra, will succeed as FPL's top boss.
(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Shailesh Kuber)